As injuries mount, a bat becomes a greater need
From Joel Sherman of the NY Post:
The Yankees, meanwhile, have climbed into a first-place tie at a moment when their health is deteriorating.
Jorge Posada caught for the first time since coming off the DL, but admitted his foot still hurts. Brett Gardner’s finger is still bothering him. Marcus Thames had to go to the DL to join Nick Johnson. And Alex Rodriguez did not start all weekend, with the Yanks hoping he could get back on the field for tomorrow night against the Phillies.
The stuff with Posada, Gardner and A-Rod seems to fall into the chronic area, so the Yanks are going to have to be edgy about three key components of the everyday lineup all year. In a division as closely contested at the top as the AL East – with the Yanks, Rays and Red Sox all pointing toward 90-plus wins – the Yanks’ ability (or inability) to stay healthy is going to be vital to making the playoffs. The Red Sox, for example, are in third place now, and have had to deal with more physical issues than the other AL East super powers
Sherman highlights the chronic nature of the injuries to Alex Rodriguez (hip flexor tendinitis) and Brett Gardner (sore thumb) as these are critical issues for the Yankees and their offense. Sure, A-Rod’s tendinitis has not yet been ruled an ongoing problem by the Yankees or their staff (though given his hip history, it is not a stretch to consider long-term effects), however, Gardner’s thumb, as he stated yesterday, will likely be an issue for the foreseeable future. Let’s not forget that with Nick Johnson out, the Yankees currently employ a rotating DH, with Jorge Posada, who is currently nursing his foot back to health, receiving the bulk of those duties (for now). Therefore, while everyone seems to be talking about trading for Cliff Lee, it seems reasonable to assume the team might try to acquire a bat instead. Who that bat will be, though (David DeJesus’ name has been tossed around), I’m not sure.