The New York Yankees suffered two blows to their starting rotation on June 27. Ace CC Sabathia went on the disabled list with a strained groin that he suffered against the New York Mets on Sunday, June 24. He will most likely rejoin the team just after the All-Star break. On June 27, Andy Pettitte took a hot shot off of his ankle, resulting in a fracture that will sideline him for approximately six weeks. That takes him well into August before he can return.
I never want to see anyone hurt, but baseball moves on. The Yankees have a 4.5-game lead in the American League East and are playing well enough that the short-term loss of Sabathia will hurt them only a bit. He will likely miss two starts, and the rotation has really come around after a rough start to the season. Freddy Garcia could take Sabathia's starts temporarily. However, the loss of Pettitte looms larger. He has pitched very well since rejoining the Yankees in May, and he may have helped spear the rotation's turnaround with his presence and leadership. Now, Joe Girardi must shuffle the rotation and bullpen with help from the Minors or a possible trade.
No one will feel sorry for the Yankees, especially anyone in the injury-plagued A.L. East trying to catch them. The Toronto Blue Jays have four starting pitchers among others on the disabled list. The Boston Red Sox have had some of their best players from all over the field injured all season, and the Tampa Bay Rays are still without their star third baseman Evan Longoria and closer Kyle Farnsworth among others. The Baltimore Orioles have also had their share of injuries to key players. Still, though, all five teams are above .500 as of June 27 due much to their depth.
The Yankees have still managed to play winning baseball, especially in June, even with a slew of injuries. They lost David Robertson for much of the season, but he is back. Brett Gardner is still out (since mid-April). Michael Pineda and Joba Chamberlain will not pitch at all this season. Pedro Feliciano is on the 60-day DL. Who can forget the loss of the game's best closer ever, Mariano Rivera? Through it all, the Yankees have found ways to win, and I do not see that changing now.
The Yankees have enough offensive power to sustain the pitching losses. The offense kept the Yankees above water in April and May while starting pitching faltered, and I see no reason why the offense should shut down now. It had better not shut down because the Yankees host the Chicago White Sox from June 28-July 1 and then travel to Tampa Bay from July 2-4 and Boston from July 6-8. The Boston series includes a double-header on July 7. These three teams can put up some runs. Without their #1 and #2 pitchers, the Yankees had better score some runs of their own.
The losses of Sabathia and Pettitte hurt, especially Pettitte long-term, but the Yankees can and will overcome it all. They usually do.
Bryan Hoch, Sabathia Heads to Disabled List with Groin Strain, yankees.mlb.com, June 27, 2012.
Yahoo! Sports, 2012 Regular Season Standings, sports.yahoo.com as of June 27, 2012.
YES Network Broadcast, Cleveland Indians at New York Yankees, June 27, 2012.
Raymond was born in Connecticut into a family spilt between the Red Sox and Yankees. Although he grew up in Florida, Raymond became a Yankees fan. He played baseball through high school and soon after became a varsity coach. He currently coaches Little League in Florida. Raymond previously produced radio sports talk shows and hosted a weekly MLB radio call-in show. Follow Raymond on Twitter @RayBureau
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