C.C. Sabathia joins A-Rod, Rivera, Pettitte, etc., on the disabled list, and the Yankees keep on rolling
Let’s say we’d tapped Yankees manager Joe Girardi on the shoulder on the first day of spring training and told him that on August 12th his disabled list would include:
- Alex Rodriguez.
- Mariano Rivera.
- C.C. Sabathia.
- Andy Pettitte.
- Brett Gardner.
- Michael Pineda
And then we would have told Girardi he wouldn’t have Joba Chamberlain for 102 games or David Robertson for 28. Do you think he would still have believed his team would still have the best record in the American League and the largest division lead in all of Major League Baseball.
Actually, I suspect Girardi wouldn’t have been a bit surprised to know his Yankees were up by six games in the American League East and cruising toward another playoff spot. He would have known that those injuries weren’t going to be a good excuse for all those millions of people love the Yankees.
(Since A-Rod went down on July 25, the Yankees have started Eric Chavez, Casey McGehee and Jayson Nix in his place. They’ve hit .375 with six home runs, and according to the Elias Sports Bureau, that’s the highest average in the game at third and ties the Padres for the most home runs. Eric Chavez is hitting .467 with four home runs and nine RBIs in his last nine games.)
For the Yankees, it’s completely a bottom-line business. They’re expected to win and win big no matter how many injuries, slumps, bad breaks, etc. Girardi and his players accept that they’re going to have more advantages than any other team in baseball. In return, they’re expected to produce.
If this season ends with a 28th championship, the Yankees might find it one of their most rewarding. Despite the injuries, they’ve been alone atop the American League East for 61 straight days, their longest such streak since the final 77 days of the 2009 season.