New York Yankees Rumors: Latest News Surrounding the Yankees
The New York Yankees have been battling for the top spot in the AL East all season, but the rash of injuries the team has suffered could eventually begin to catch up to them.
Nearly all of the latest Yankees news has something to do with injuries. Players are going down left and right, and the real issue is that they aren't minor injuries. Very important players are scheduled to miss a good deal of time, and that's not conducive to long-term success.
The Bombers will need everyone to get healthy in order to make a run at the postseason. All of the injuries might force general manager Brian Cashman's hand, and trades could potentially be on the horizon as a result.
Committed to winning this year in Derek Jeter's final season, the Yankees will need to make some upgrades to offset the players who are on the disabled list.
As previously mentioned, just about all of the news this week has to do with injuries, and hopefully the team's fortune changes in the near future.
CC Sabathia out Until July
CC Sabathia hit the disabled list on May 11, but it will be a while before we see him toeing the rubber again. Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York reported the upsetting news:
CC Sabathia's knee injury is likely to keep him out of action until July 1 and possibly longer, according to general manager Brian Cashman.
Speaking on ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney's podcast, Cashman said Sabathia has some breakdown of cartilage in his right knee, which caused the pain, swelling and fluid buildup that sent him to the disabled list on May 11, the day after he allowed three long home runs in a 5-4 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Yankees can only hope for the best from this extended DL stint. Sabathia was pitching very ineffectively through eight starts—he owns a 5.28 ERA over 46 innings this season—so maybe the knee was the issue.
Not being able to plant on your front leg with any force is detrimental to finishing pitches and hitting locations, and perhaps with a healthy knee the Yankees shouldn't doubt his ability to get outs.
In his stead, several pitchers will likely get a shot at the rotation. For now, Chase Whitley appears to be the guy.
Michael Pineda Throwing Bullpen Sessions
Michael Pineda hasn't pitched since the infamous pine tar incident in Boston on April 23, as he suffered a strain in his back during a simulated game that he threw while on suspension.
However, it looks like he is steadily improving from a Grade 1 strain of the muscle in his right side. Vincent Z. Mercogliano of LoHud.com reports that Pineda was seen in uniform in the Yankees clubhouse this past weekend:
Right-hander Michael Pineda was spotted in the Yankees' clubhouse on Saturday — in uniform — and played catch in the outfield after doing some running. He'll throw a 25-pitch pitch bullpen Sunday, as he seems to be getting closer to a return from a Grade 1 strain of the teres major muscle on his right side.
Getting Pineda back would be huge for the Yankees. With Ivan Nova permanently shelved for 2014 and CC Sabathia battling his right knee injury, the Yankees can't afford to have any more starters on the DL for a prolonged period of time.
Counting on the trio of David Phelps, Vidal Nuno and Chase Whitley for quality starts is a risky proposition. Pineda is a clear upgrade over at least two of those starters—Phelps has shown flashes of potential—and getting him back by the beginning of June would be huge.
Yankees out of Mix for Cuban Outfielder
The Yankees have really only made one huge splash on the international free-agent market over the past several years (Masahiro Tanaka), but the team is poised to spend big on foreign players in the coming months.
That said, Dan Martin and George A. King III of the that their money likely won't be spent on Cuban outfielder Daniel Carbonell:
According to a source, despite reports indicating the Yankees are among the finalists for 23-year-old Cuban outfielder Daniel Carbonell, the team is not seriously pursuing the 6-foot-3, 220-pounder. They were among the teams to scout him in Mexico.
Carbonell is a switch-hitter who played four years in Cuba's most competitive professional league, and even though he's just 23 he has the potential to be a stud as a five-tool player. His career slash line in Cuba is .287/.359/.398, and it has been steadily improving as he has gotten older.
While there's no direct correlation between stats in Cuba and stats in MLB, one could reasonably assume that a line of .287/.359/.398 would translate to something around .260/.330/.370 in the States. Then again, that's just conjecture, and it will all depend on how well Carbonell adjusts.
He could seek a major league deal similar to Yoenis Cespedes. If he is anything like Cespedes, then the team who signs him will be getting a very solid bat in the middle of the lineup.
Manny Banuelos Shut Down for a Few Days
Long gone are Manny Banuelos' days as a top prospect.
Banuelos was once considered to be the next Yankees ace, as his repertoire and makeup were believed to be similar to that of Johan Santana. He's a lefty that doesn't throw particularly hard, but he has a strong changeup and a decent command of the plate.
Injuries and ineffectiveness have derailed his once promising future. He and Dellin Betances were supposed to be the next anchors of the Yankees rotation. Now, Betances has found a home as a dominant reliever in the late innings, and Banuelos' only shot at the Bigs at this point might be as a lefty specialist.
Surgery Is Possible Next Step for Carlos Beltran
Bryan Hoch of MLB.com tweeted that manager Joe Girardi acknowledged that surgery might be the next step for Carlos Beltran if swinging a bat early this week doesn't go well.
Beltran has been uncharacteristically bad this season, slashing .234/.286/.430 with five home runs and just 15 RBI. Perhaps his right elbow has been to blame the entire time, but it's obvious that keeping him in the lineup was detrimental to his own health and the success of the team.
The bone spurs in his elbow are incurable by cortisone injections, and if they are bothering Beltran that much, perhaps it would be best for him to undergo surgery. The faster he gets it done, the better. The Yankees will need his bat for the stretch run, especially if their pitching is still in a patchwork state.
Luckily, there's no ligament or structural damage; Beltran simply needs to get the bone spurs removed.