By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)
The injury bug looks to be making a permanent residence in the New York Yankees clubhouse as it was announced that first baseman/third baseman Kevin Youkilis will have require surgery on a herniated disk in his back. Surgery is scheduled for Thursday and the timetable for recovery is 10-12 weeks, effectively ending his tenure as a Yankee before it really got started.
Curtis Granderson had a fractured forearm in spring training that forced him to miss the first six weeks of the season but found himself on the DL 10 days after fracturing the pinkie finger on his left hand.
Mark Teixeira missed the first eight weeks of the season with an injury to his right wrist. After playing for 15 games he has found his way back onto the DL with inflammation in the same wrist as he just could not generate the force with his swing he wanted.
Youkilis will be the third Yankee causality to get put on the disabled list earlier in the season, return to the lineup and head right back to the DL at the blink of an eye. Youkilis had a strong start to the season, hitting .279 with two homeruns and seven RBI through the first 16 games of the season. He then appeared in only more game in a five week period because of a lower back injury. Youkilis returned to play in 11 more games but was ineffective and was placed back on the DL today with what can be considered for all purposes a season-ending injury.
The players that Brian Cashman brought in during the offseason to help offset some of the early season injuries played admirably through the first two months of the season but they are starting to slow down and fall back to where they had been the last few seasons; there are obviously reasons these players were so easily had so close to the start of the regular season.
Even with the injuries, the Yankees are the still owners of a respectable 38-31 record. They have fallen on tough times recently though, losing five of the last six games on their west coast trip and going four and six in their last 10 games. The schedule does not get any easier for the Yankees through the end of June as they welcome the Los Angeles Dodgers, Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers to Yankee Stadium before embarking on the road to Baltimore. The Yankees held on for as long as they could without the big bats in their lineup but it looks as if things are starting to slip away as they start falling down the American League East division standings.