After a sweep in the ALCS ended their season in 2012, matters have only gotten worse for the New York Yankees. During this offseason, Alex Rodriguez underwent hip surgery and steroid allegations, Nick Swisher was picked up by the Indians and now Curtis Granderson has a broken forearm that should sideline him for at least 10 weeks.
The injury to Granderson is a crushing blow to the Yankees. It adds another name to a long list of injured players, should weaken the team's offensive production and leaves a gaping hole in the outfield.
For the past few years, the Yankees have been a veteran-heavy squad. Ichiro, C.C, Pettitte, Rivera, Teixeira, A-Rod and even Jeter are all entering the final stages of their storied careers. The team hasn't shown many effects of this aging, until now.
These recent injuries could be a sign that the 2013 Yankees are far from invincible.
With these big names growing older and struggling to stay healthy, the often-intimidating Yankees lineup may falter in 2013. Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano can only generate so much offense on their own. Granderson hit 43 bombs and drove in 106 runs last season—excellent power numbers for a Yankees team that relies heavily on the long ball for runs. With No. 14 now out, the Yankees may struggle to score and thus struggle to win games.
And in the field, Granderson going down means the Yankees have to find a third outfielder for opening day. As of now, the team will have to start either a primary infielder in Eduardo Nunez or an outfielder with barely any MLB experience in Zoilo Almonte, Ramon Flores or Melky Mesa. Either option is clearly a downgrade from Granderson, a speedy fielder with great range.
Granderson's injury puts the Yankees in an even deeper hole to start the 2013 season. In a powerful AL East, a slow start could prevent the Yankees from reaching the playoffs and fulfilling expectations.