I had started to write this post last week, looking at the outfield. But stopped to discuss the role of Cap Anson in bringing in the colour barrier to the game of baseball, leading the way for the Jim Crow laws to be brought in to the states.
Now I shall get back to the business of Spring Training. As I was writing my initial post the word came out that yet again another Yankees player has been held back during the off season due to an injury. Okay so this time it is not so much a failure on the part of the medical staff, as Gardner picked up this injury when he was making a play in the outfield in the abysmal loss to the Astros. As a precaution they kept held his off season routine back expecting the injury to linger. He had after all suffered two smacks to the wrist with a baseball during the season, and crash into the outfield wall was the last straw for the wrists as it was.
With Jacoby going into the spring having spent most of last season trying to bounce back from an injury, with questions overs the health of Beltran, Ackley’s spine, no Chris Young, and questions about how well Aaron Hicks will settle in to his new team and whether he will continue to be a low average with the bat, because let’s face it the figures he has put up has not been very good at all. His average is not the highest, although he has a good number of runs batted in, which hopefully will make him a good bat to have with men on bases though all of that is open to speculation at the moment.
The story, for me, the biggest story seems to be the one that is affecting all the positions in the team. Their inability to stay healthy, and recover from injuries. While for many the outfield had such depth, but looking into it a little more, you see that the depth there is as thin as the paper is written on. Injuries will come and go, but we have three projected opening day position players in the outfield with serious questions about whether they will be able to stay healthy.
We have a number of guys who can and will contribute to the team’s season. But with so many concerns about what the main starters will be able to contribute when they are prone to injury, or in the case of Ellsbury who many are labelling as a bust, a player who has not delivered to the Yanks half of what he gave the Bosox though I have to say that I disagree with that. Because he has given so much of himself to the team, sure his hitting has not been so good at all, but he has given a lot when it comes to the stealing bases and also defensive plays. So to say he has been a bust is not quite giving him the credit he deserves.
That being said there are certainly reasons for concern and that is the injuries. Can the outfield keep going even with questions over the three main outfielders. That is going to be the main problem going into and throughout the season. We shall watch the spring unfold with nerves and trepidation. I just hope they can get into shape and not pick up anything serious. I have no faith in the medical staff any more… they lost it with all their failures.