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Yanks: DL on the DL

By Dr. Mark Filippi ~ May 3rd, 2010. Filed under: Digest Contributors.

In a similar way, the Yanks hot start masked some of the hits they took to the hull of the good ship Girardi. The DL claimed a few victims in the early going, most notably of course, the groin injury suffered Saturday by Curtis Granderson as he rounded second base It looks manageable, but he’s a guy who relies on his speed, so he’ll be nursed back over the next month. In the meantime, the deep Yankee bench will be mobilized to replace his production. Also hitting the sidelines was Chan Ho Park with a strained right hamstring. He hasn’t been missed much.

The real unfolding story with the Yankees is something that Met fans are more used to dealing with from their starting pitchers. You’d think with the Joba Chamberlain debate settled, the armchair psychologists would have a month off. But with his meltdown this weekend, Javier Vazquez has officially become the poster child for the “Can’t Pitch in New York” foundation. Unlike the Mets, the Yankees can absorb his 5-inning fiascos with run support and their potent bullpen. Look for him to slide to #5 in the rotation and then get challenged by whoever the Yanks have in the pipeline if his struggles continue. Right now it’s a concern, not a crisis. However, this can escalate.

The bigger picture with these Yankees is how well several regulars and bench players overcome some nagging injuries that can become lingering ones given the age and positions/roles they play. Here are the key names…

Jorge Posada - How many times have you seen Jorge limp and gimp off the field so far this year? In the Baltimore series he had a bad slide into second roll his ankle and then he got plunked by Yankee hunter, Jeremy Guthrie, who ironically, starts for the O’s tonight in the Bronx. As the year progresses, will Posada have to DH more?

Mark Teixeira – Now that it’s MAY, maybe he’s OK. But even for him, April was a really down month. Again, on the heels of being plunked in Spring Training by the aforementioned Guthrie, Tex was experiencing both a power and contact outage. It’ll take a sustained level of production in May to replace that APR divot. Like David Wright, Tex has that streakiness thing down. I’ll give him May to show me he’s not playing through an injury.

Nick Johnson – If Vazquez is the poster child, Nick Johnson is his alternate. He’s been dealing with his usual array of lower back pain and his black hole offense in the 2 spot is making Girardi nuts. The Chicago series showed a little sign of life, but that doesn’t compare to Yankee fans watching Johnny Damon’s walk-off homer for Detroit on Saturday/

Alex Rodriguez – Where do you start with the lightning rod? Is it the 2 HR’s so far? Is it the new issue with his right knee that caused him to sit out Sunday’s game with Chicago? Or is it his tone deaf way of dealing with the media in the aftermath of the Dallas Braden feud? So far, the Yanks 16-8 start has masked A-Rod’s flaws well.

There’s a string of other Yankees not living up to their baseball cards like Nick Swisher, Dave Robertson and even Joba to some degree. But the overall feel is that this team is so deep, even a slightly beaten up Derek Jeter is off to a .327 start. The test this month will be if the Brett Gardner’s, Randy Winn’s and Marcus Thames of the world can participate while the front line guys continue to round into shape. The May schedule helps too.

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Dr. Mark Filippi

Dr. Mark is the in-house NYBD behavioral consultant. A lifelong Mets fan, his role is to help us understand how a player's performance over time and in the moment is linked more to their social brain design than their baseball IQ. So don’t expect him to cite OPS+, WAR, or any other statistic. Look for his "DL on the DL" segments each month as the season unfolds so you can better understand the how environmental and physiological rhythms affect slumps, streaks and other misunderstood aspects of a player, a team and fanbase's mood and outlook. He'll also explore some key player's somatic/nonverbal identity and how protecting and supporting it impacts their energy, focus and ability to adapt over the grind of the long season on and off the field in the crucible that is New York baseball. Check out his website at somaspace.org

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1 Response to Yanks: DL on the DL

  1. K.V.C

    With the way Cervelli is hitting, I would DH Posada now, until he is fully healthy and sit Nick.

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