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Mariano Rivera's injury hurts a once loaded bullpen.
The New York Yankees have shown they could overcome injuries in the past, but 2012 could be the year the team can’t find a way to prevail.
This year is different because injuries have hit their pitching staff rather than their lineup.
Mariano Rivera and Michael Pineda are both done for the season. Rivera’s injury wouldn’t be as much of an issue, but it takes away one of the team’s few strengths. Rather than having three pitchers that could close and having one of baseball’s deepest bullpens, now they are just average.
Pineda’s season-ending injury is more damaging because they don’t have a pitcher that can step in and be as effective as the tall right-hander.
While the Yankees have two great pitching prospects in Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos, they are at least a year away from making an impact on the big club.
In years past, injuries have affected the lineup which was deep enough to withstand the loss of Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, but the pitching staff won’t be able to survive without Rivera and Pineda.