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  • E.J. Fagan

Are the Yankees More Injury Prone Than Other Clubs?

By E.J. Fagan

August 16, 2023

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NOTE: The following comes from EJ Fagan's substack page and is shared with permission.

Please check out EJ's substack page for more great articles.

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Nestor Cortes will miss the remainder of the 2023 season with a shoulder injury. After an incredible two-year breakout, it’s been a bleak 2023 for Cortes. Let’s hope he gets healthy for next season.


By my count, here are the major Yankee injuries over the last two seasons:

  • Elbow: Effross, Trivino, Gil, Rodon, King, Britton, Loaisiga, Kahnle, Chapman

  • Shoulder: Cortes, Montas

  • Foot/toe: Judge, LeMahieu, Carpenter, Bader (sort of)

  • Wrist/hand: Trevino, Benintendi

  • Major Ligament/muscle strains: Severino, Stanton, Rodon

I may have missed a few, but you get the point. Only a handful of Yankee full-timers (Volpe, Kiner-Falefa, Montgomery, Cole, Schmidt, Peralta, Higashioka) haven’t missed significant time with an injury over the last two seasons.


We all remember that the problems extend farther back. The 2018 and 2019 Yankees were awash in injuries. Only the 2021 team was mostly able to avoid the injury bug.

But are the Yankees more injury prone than others? That question is actually pretty hard to answer. There isn’t good data on injuries, and it would require a lot of research to establish the injury history of even a few teams.

The best that I’ve got access to is ESPN’s list of currently injured players. It can tell me how many players are currently injured by team. The big flaw is that it includes all 40-man players, including players who were never in the majors.

Here’s each team’s count of all players on the 7/10/15 day injured lists:

Not bad! The Yankees currently have three players on the 10/15-day (Rizzo, Rodon, Cortes), which is less than the average team. What about the 60-day?


Really bad! The Yankees have seven players on the 60-day IL (Trevino, Donaldson, Gil, Montas, Effross, Trivino, Weber), only trailing the two California teams and the Braves. Rodon and Cortes also feel like de facto 60-day injuries (maybe Rizzo too?) even if the paperwork isn’t official yet.

I wish I could perform this exercise any other points in time. It feels like the Yankees are a little bit healthier than they were at other points in the season. The evidence certainly suggests that it isn’t in our heads: the Yankees have more significant long-term injuries than other teams.

That said, I don’t think the evidence puts all that much blame on injuries for the lackluster 2023 season. Most of the other teams high up on the 60-day list are doing just fine. At least five of the players padding out the Yankee injury list were never going to be all that important to the team. Allegedly healthy players are struggling. The Yankees need to cut down on the injuries, but that’s not their primary problem.

6 comments

6 Comments


lenjack
Aug 18, 2023

The entire medical/conditioning staff, needs to be fired. The team needs to favor flexibility over strength. I'm looking at you Stanton.

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Tom McElroy
Tom McElroy
Sep 12, 2023
Replying to

Picking on Big G? He does run like he is stuck in syrup sometimes.

A possible theory relating to your flexibility topic, maybe the unseen factor of added pressure of playing in NY and CA has players with a higher bp and tense. Could be a reason. I would love to see across all teams, where injuries occurred to test the theory more but, I ain’t got that kind of time.

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Alan B.
Alan B.
Aug 16, 2023

The problem starts with Cashman admitting that he ignored the medicals on Montas. Did he do the same on Effross? Then they are every year drafting kids who are hurt. Then, I believe, looking at this thing objectively, a non-medical/baseball person is making the decisions on rehabbing players. I watched pretty much every rehab appearance in 2022, and just by watching I could tell they were not ready. Rondon & Sevy didn't look ready to me this year. Kahnle after missing all year was ready after 1 appearance ? No he wasn't. And this staff doesn't have them doing anything different that help to prevent any hamstrings or soft tissue injuries. They've had 4 years.

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jjw49
Aug 16, 2023
Replying to

He looks out of shape to me but he needs to get leaner and he certainly needs a change of scenery. SF would be a nice landing spot for him next year.

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