The New York Yankees, owners of baseball’s best record at 30-13, have been hit hard by injuries the last week or so, and it continued Wednesday: Giancarlo Stanton and Jonathan Loáisiga were both placed on the injured list, the team announced. Stanton has a calf strain and Loáisiga a shoulder strain. The Yankees did welcome Joey Gallo back from the COVID list, however.
The Yankees placed only two players on the non-COVID major league injured list the first five weeks of the season: Tim Locastro, who hurt his lat on a stolen base attempt, and setup man Chad Green, who blew out his elbow and needed Tommy John surgery. They’ve now placed three players on the injured list in the last week alone: Stanton, Loáisiga, and Aroldis Chapman (Achilles).
Furthermore, Josh Donaldson remains on the COVID list, and DJ LeMahieu is day-to-day after receiving a cortisone shot in his wrist. Depth arm Luis Gil, who made a start earlier this month, had Tommy John surgery earlier this week as well. The Yankees went from being extremely healthy to being short multiple starting position pitchers and multiple high leverage relievers in a few days.
Stanton appeared to hurt his calf during a swing Tuesday night. He owns a .285/.339/.523 batting line with 11 home runs this season and has been New York’s second best hitter behind Aaron Judge. Stanton missed about two weeks with a quad strain last year. His 139 games in 2021 played were his most since 2018.
The Yankees came into the season with nine players for the eight non-catcher positions, and they’ve been rotating players and giving guys regular days off these last few weeks. With Stanton out, they can stick with a set starting eight, and rotate players through the DH spot as rest requires. That said, losing Stanton’s bat is a significant blow.
Loáisiga was on the short list of the game’s best relievers a year ago, though he’s struggled out of the gate this season, and hits the injured list with a 7.02 ERA and 10 walks in 16 2/3 innings. He has a long injury history that includes Tommy John surgery and multiple shoulder issues, including one that sidelined him last September.
Chapman, Green, and Loáisiga on the shelf means high leverage responsibilities will fall on Clay Holmes and Michael King, who have been dynamite in the early going. Veterans Miguel Castro and Wandy Peralta, and youngster Clarke Schmidt, will assume more responsibility as well. Gil would have been a candidate for bullpen work had he not gotten hurt.