Over the course of the season, minor leaguers ding themselves up just as much as the pros. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to track all of their injuries. Even within the same organization, each minor league affiliate is unique with their own administrative staff and reporters, so not all of the injuries are usually written in one place. MLB teams will also sometimes go out of their way to keep the public in the dark about prospect injuries; for example, Ian Clarkin's absence throughout most of 2015 was unexplained for quite some time.
So it seemed like a decent idea to put together an update on what we know about the Yankees' injured prospects. Not all minor leaguers will be mentioned, but it will be good to at least get most of them recorded.
Greg Bird, Mason Williams, and Luis Torrens (torn shoulder labrum)
The popular first baseman's season-ending injury has already been well-documented at PSA (and no, tears haven't dried). Given the normal recovery time from his procedure, there is some possibility that he comes back late in 2016, but don't count on it at all. It seems highly unlikely that the Yankees would risk even slightly rushing Bird's return, just for maybe a handful of September at-bats.
Williams had shoulder surgery too, but he had his last August. His timetable for return to action in Triple-A is still unclear, though the team's official injury report suggested June as a possibility. Williams is not yet at full-throwing strength yet, though he is able to take batting practice and outfield drills, per Shane Hennigan of the Scranton Times Tribune.
The catcher Torrens missed all of 2015 with labrum surgery and according to Baseball America, he is expected to report to Low-A Charleston when he's ready. For now though, he's dealing with irritation in his labrum and is being held in extended spring training until the Yankees are comfortable with him catching again. He will only be 20 on May 2nd and stood out in short-season Staten Island before the injury, so there is still plenty to like about Torrens.
Bryan Mitchell (toe surgery)
Spring training was just about perfect for Mitchell up until the final days. Joe Girardi confirmed that after his impressive camp, he was going to be on the Opening Day roster in a swingman role similar to Adam Warren's in 2015. Then, he fractured a bone in his big toe covering first base on March 30th. It was far worse than imagined, and after surgery, he is not expected to pitch again for another four months. Mitchell also missed time last year when he was hit in the head by a line drive. The poor guy can't catch a break.
Nick Rumbelow, Austin DeCarr, Ty Hensley, and Domingo German (the TJS crew)
The latest Yankees prospect to fall victim to Tommy John surgery is the Triple-A reliever Rumbelow, who is set to go under the knife tomorrow. While he didn't make the Opening Day roster, he was expected to be part of the "Scranton Shuffle" this year, so it's a bummer to lose him. Don't expect to see him again until late 2017, at best.
DeCarr, Hensley, and German were all considered Top 20 system prospects before falling victim to Tommy John last year as well. According to Jon Roegele*, German and Hensley both had their surgeries done on March 31, 2015, and DeCarr had his on May 1, 2015. Gary Denbo, the VP of Yankees Player Development, said that he liked how they looked entering spring training. Since it's been roughly 12 months, they will remain in extended spring until they're ready to return to a likely GCL rehab assignment later this year. All pitchers recover differently, and some (like Daniel Hudson) need a second procedure anyway, so fans just have to cross their fingers.
*Other Yankees relievers listed on Roegele's TJS list include Chaz Hebert (3/24/16), Joe Harvey (6/2/15), and Jose Pena (4/9/15). Miguel Sulbaran has also not pitched at all this year and is sitting on High-A Tampa's DL, so that can't be a good sign.
SS Kyle Holder placed on the Low-A Charleston disabled list— Lohud Yankees Blog (@LoHudYankees) April 18, 2016
The start to Holder's professional career has been far from ideal. The all-glove, no-hit shortstop was a bit of a surprise as the 30th overall pick in 2015 Draft, and after a .527 OPS debut in Staten Island last year, he's on the Charleston DL already with an presently unknown injury. Ouch.
Cesar Puello to the DL with a concussion. Lane Adams will join the RailRiders.— Shane Hennigan (@RailRidersTT) April 16, 2016
Puello was one of the last outfielders cut from spring training. Even though it never seemed likely that he had a shot at making the team, it says something that the Yankees thought enough of him to keep him around that long. So this is a bit of a bummer, and concussions are awful anyway.
T-Yanks Roster Move: 1B Mike Ford placed on the 7-day disabled list. INF Vicente Conde added to Tampa from Double-A Trenton. #Yankees— Tampa Yankees (@TampaYankees) April 18, 2016