AN early injury to star outfielder, Curtis Granderson, will leave the Yankees missing his bat and speed to start the 2013 season.
The 2013 baseball season is still very young, but it seems as though it’s starting off the same way it ended in 2012, in shambles. When Derek Jeter had to be helped off the field near the end of the Yankees playoff run last year, it perfectly summarized how the entire season played out for the Yankees. It was a year riddled with injuries right from the beginning making the team almost destined to fail.
It began with Michael Pineda tearing a ligament in his throwing arm, rendering him useless for the entire season. Months later, Yankees lost their legendary closer, Mariano Rivera, in a freak pre-game injury. The problems continued as time went on and more and more key pinstripe players found themselves on the disabled list, like Brett Gardner, Andy Pettitte, Phil Hughes, and Alex Rodriguez.
Age and injury plagued the club and in the end, proved to be too big a challenge for the Yankees to combat, leaving many to wonder what would come in the offseason, but it wasn’t much. The upper offices remained quiet for most of the winter, despite the big names that were atop the free-agents list. The signing of Kevin Youkilis, a well-known former member of the Yankees most-hated rival Boston Red sox, was probably the most notable transaction made by the team. This isn’t saying much as Youk is set to replace the injured, scandalous, over-paid and under-performing Alex Rodriguez, who is once again recovering from hip surgery and isn’t set to return until mid-season, at the earliest.
With such a silent offseason, as the organization seems to attempt to bring their salary cap below the luxury tax line, it’s uncertain what direction they’re headed in for 2013. But the way things are playing out so far, that direction certainly doesn’t look to be upward.
On Sunday afternoon, the outlook got even bleaker as the Yankees lost another big star from the roster before the regular season even got underway. Curtis Granderson left that spring training matchup after after being hit by a pitch. Hours later it was reported that he suffered a broken arm from the hit, and he would be out for at least a month. Another loss was the last thing the Yankees needed, especially one of this magnitude, as Granderson has been one of the club’s most productive offensive players and an extremely valuable asset on the defensive side as well. He finished 2012 with 138 hits, 43 home runs, and 106 RBIs and those numbers will be missed to begin the 2013 season.
The injury to Granderson is just another challenge to add to the team’s list this year as it grows in length almost daily while they still await the return of a number of other bombers. Derek Jeter, C.C. Sabathia, Mariano Rivera, and Michael Pineda are all still rehabilitating from their offseason surgeries and aren’t expected to return until the seasons open, which means they will have plenty of rust to shake off to start out.
As if the injuries aren’t enough to combat, the Yankees have their work cut out for them this year as the rest of their division has really beefed up their rosters over the winter. They have their work cut out for them in the months ahead and the adversity that seems to antagonize the team as time passes can only leave room for wonder of whether or not the golden days of this infamous organization are in the past. It’s up to the Yankees to prove that theory wrong and the 2013 season may be their toughest test thus far to overcome the odds set against them.