April 3, 2019

Schadenfreude 248 (A Continuing Series)

The Tigers began yesterday's game at Yankee Stadium with a team batting average of .140 - the worst in the major leagues.
Games 1-5        : 23 hits, 6 doubles
Game 6 vs Yankees: 11 hits, 4 doubles

Bill Madden, Daily News:
Ominously, we are not even a week into the season and the 2019 Yankees are taking on the look of the 2017 Mets – a team that was favored to win its division only to be decimated by an unrelenting wave of injuries, ending up 22 games under .500. ...

I'm sure [Aaron] Boone is already having some restless nights wondering when or if, (1) Luis Severino will return as the ace of his rotation, (2) Miguel Andujar is going to need season-ending shoulder surgery, (3) Aaron Hicks is ever going to be able to play, and (4) Giancarlo Stanton is going to experience yet another season of less than 140 games. ...

You start with Severino. Despite his breakthrough 19-win season last year, his second-half tail-off and early KO versus the Red Sox in the ALDS, raised questions about both his durability and his stature as a true No. 1. ... [T]he jury remains out as to whether he can be the anchor of the staff the Yankees need him to be.

The left biceps strain of Stanton's is another injury the Yankees are downplaying ... But it cannot be dismissed that, before they gleefully agreed to take on his monster contract from the Marlins, he had played over 140 games in only three of his first eight seasons in Miami. Being that those were seasons from age 21-28, this was a red flag the Yankees chose to ignore - while also not learning their lesson from the ill-fated seven years/$153M deal they gave Jacoby Ellsbury.

This is not a second guess. I said and wrote at the time of the deal that this was going to go down as one of the worst mistakes the Yankees ever made; that if Stanton couldn't stay healthy in his 20s, what was going to happen when he got into his 30s, with the Yankees were paying him some $30 million a year through 2027 and age 38? Throw in the fact his first year with the Yankees, he struck out 211 times (to 164 hits), and it's pretty easy to see now how quickly he and his contract is going to become an albatross. ...

Hicks is another one who is seemingly always going to be hurt. In six years in the big leagues, the most games he's played in a season was the 137 he had last year. When Brian Cashman stunningly signed him to that seven year/$70 million extension in the spring, skeptics joked the Yankees would be paying him by the hamstring injury. ...

At the start of spring training, scouts and rival GMs marveled at the Yankees' depth ... Not even a week into the season, however, that depth is already being severely tested.

Ken Davidoff, Post:
The Yankees currently carry the feel of a slapstick klutz. Every time they stumble, you wonder whether they're going to fall off a cliff.

And let's face it: How often does the klutz stand tall at the end, as opposed to being the comic relief?

Already this season has taken an unexpected twist, the banged-up Yankees falling to the tanking Tigers, 3-1, on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium and slipping behind .500 again at 2-3. ...

[Aaron Boone:] "We've just go to ... find a way right now when we are a little depleted."

Can you be "a little depleted," or is it like being "a little pregnant"? ... [T]hese Yankees, with four everyday players plus human money pit Jacoby Ellsbury on the injured list ... Game 5 featured DJ LeMahieu, who rode the bench on Opening Day, hitting fifth, followed by the quartet of Mike Tauchman, Clint Frazier, Tyler Wade and Austin Romine. Yeesh. ...

Playing the klutz on screen can be lucrative. In a ballpark, though? When Boone vowed late Tuesday, "We expect to go out and do damage tomorrow," the first reaction was, "To the other guys, or to yourselves?"

Dan Martin, Post (early edition, 9:28 pm):
A depleted lineup nearly devoid of star power and a fire-balling closer whose fastball has lost some pop proved to be a bad combination for the Yankees on Tuesday night in a 3-1 loss to the Tigers.

The Yankees managed to score just a lone run against Detroit in their second game since placing Giancarlo Stanton and Miguel Andujar on the injured list, leaving them with the likes of Mike Tauchman, Clint Frazier and Tyler Wade all in the lineup after being ticketed for the minors a week ago. ...

Lacking the triple-digit fastball that has long made him elite, Chapman struggled Tuesday.

He issued a one-out walk to pinch-hitter Niko Goodrum. Dustin Peterson then belted a double to left that was played poorly by Tauchman and Goodrum scored easily with the go-ahead run.

After Chapman struck out Grayson Greiner, Jordy Mercer singled up the middle to score Peterson for a 3-1 Detroit lead.
Kristie Ackert, Daily News:
Five games into the season, the Yankees already look like a team in trouble. With injuries mounting, there are red flags popping up all over. Tuesday night, closer Aroldis Chapman found his velocity, but not his command. The closer gave up two runs in the top of the ninth as the Tigers beat the Yankees 3-1 at the Stadium.

The Yankees (2-3) are now in danger of losing a second straight series to a rebuilding team that they should beat in their first two series of the season. ...

With Miguel Andujar (right shoulder), Giancarlo Stanton (strained biceps), Aaron Hicks (lower back), Didi Gregorius (Tommy John rehab) out, the Yankees are missing a lot of offensive firepower. That group drove in nearly half the runs the Yankees scored last season, a combined 357 RBI, and hit 45% of the home runs the Bombers hit (119). ...

The Yankees have to start Jonathan Loaisiga in Wednesday's rubber game against the Tigers, because two of their top starters - Luis Severino (inflammation in his right rotator cuff) and CC Sabathia (knee and heart surgery) - are not ready to start the season.
Brian Costello, Post:
Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar remained upbeat Tuesday despite facing possible season-ending shoulder surgery.

Andujar said he is optimistic he will be able to return to the field after a few weeks of physical therapy. ...

"When they did the physical test on my shoulder, it came back with really good results. My strength is there. The probability of me working through this and getting back on the field is there." ...

Dr. Umer Dasti, a sports medicine specialist at Ridgewood Medical Group, said Andujar must be careful not to rush back. "If he were to return too early or try to play through the tear," Dasti said. "there's always the possibility of making it worse."

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