Somehow—through 95 games played—the New York Yankees, with all of their troubles, are only three games behind in the chase for one of two AL Wild Card spots. It might be one of the most incredible storylines of the season.
How can that be, you say? Allow me to explain.
The Yankees have played all but one game this season without Derek Jeter, who was one of the best shortstops in all of baseball last season. The one game he came back for, he had to leave early with a strain in his quad.
Alex Rodriguez has not yet graced us with his presence though he could be back next week. Mark Teixeira has played in only 15 games and hit a dismal .151.
Oh, there's more, as you may know. Kevin Youkilis, supposed to be the Yankees fill in at third base this season, played in only 28 games and hit a heinous .219 with only nine extra base hits. Curtis Granderson returned for eight games in May before encountering some extraordinary bad luck, getting hit by a pitch yet again.
Granderson may not return now until August; a season virtually lost.
We're almost there. Francisco Cervelli started the season with a .877 OPS through 17 games and played with an exuberance and passion that seemed uplifting to the Yankee spirits for most of April. He hasn't played since April 26th after fracturing his right hand on a hit by pitch.
Even the Yankees' versatile utility man Jayson Nix, who has not performed nearly as bad as the numbers indicate given the circumstances, is now on the disabled list. Incredibly, Robinson Cano, the Yankees' best everyday player, was beaned on Tuesday night in the All Star Game by Matt Harvey and had to leave.
Every Yankees fan had to wonder right then and there what they did to deserve this kind of punishment in 2013. By the grace of God, Cano only has a mild contusion and should be good to go this weekend in Boston.
It's absolutely mind blowing how many injuries the Yankees have had to deal with. The injuries have affected their lineup, which ranks as one of the worst in all of baseball, immensely. Yet the Bombers have the third best pitching staff by ERA in the junior circuit.
They're aided in that department by one of the game's finest pitchers, Hiroki Kuroda, who holds the second lowest ERA in the AL.
The Yankees do have something of an uphill climb if they want to make the playoffs for an 18th time in 19 seasons come October.
But in a year where hard to believe injuries and travails have been all too real, help is on the way through players coming back from injury. And it's always possible Brian Cashman could make a big deal at the trade deadline to bring in some help.
For now, please enjoy these Yankees' midseason grades for the 2013 season.