Saturday, April 5, 2014

Man the lifeboats, everybody. We seem to have a breach in the hull.

Let's face it: Whenever a key Yankee is helped off the field - as Mark Teixeira was last night - the recovery period should be measured in months, not weeks. Brian Cashman's happy mimeograph machine will spin Teixeira's MRI results the way Karl Rove projects GOP election votes. But if we see Tex on the field before Memorial Day, let's consider ourselves blessed.

So have we been visited by the One Injury That Absolutely Could Not Happen: Teixeira in pain. This was the nightmare scenario, the doomsday tweak. It leaves the infield unsettled, the order compromised, and the future in dark doubt. It is now quite easy - if not our Nate Silver duty - to see 2014 as a looming Yankee meltdown, an apocalypse of Bobby Valentine proportions. Head to the lifeboats, everybody. Women and children first. We have sprung a leak.

Nearly every scenario for a Yankee 2014 resurgence involved Teixeira returning to some semblance of his former self. Now what? Kelly Johnson at 1B? That's a notch below Lyle Overbay, and Russell Canzler at Scranton is our follow-up option. Would the Yankees rescind their walking papers on Eduardo Nunez, or try to trade him for a backup first baseman? Considering that he's already been waived, what would they get? Jesus Montero? Seattle might be delighted to rid themselves of the love-handled former catching pork roll. But is he even an upgrade? Jeez, I dunno.

OK, we still seem to have starting pitching - as long as the Michael Pineda Experiment doesn't explode in the lab. We might work our way past Toronto this weekend, and we'll take April one game at a time. But God help us when we hit the meat grinders of Boston, Tampa, Texas, Detroit, et al - and the surging teams in Kansas City, Cleveland and - yes - maybe even Seattle. We just lost a cleanup hitter and replaced him with - God knows what?

Last year, injuries murdered us. They killed us, because we were an old, old, old, old team. This year, we have managed to become even older. Teixeira's injury is the first, not the last. Be afraid. Be very afraid.


Suzyn's Bitch said...

As our self-appointed "fearless leader" (you DO run this site), shouldn't you - couldn't you - be a tad more optimistic? "Man the lifeboats?" Four games in? Geesh, I feel like I'm reading a Mets blog!

el duque said...

You're right. You're absolutely right. But Tex being injured is REALLY bad.

Sam said...

Go to Baseball-Reference and take a look at Solarte's lifetime minor league numbers. There's a reason that he's 26 without having earned any siginfiicant playing time in the majors--HE'S NOT A PROSPECT.

Almonte came up last years, hit like DiMaggio for a few games, and then fizzled. Probability dictates the same outcome for Solarte.

Now . . . perhaps Solarte will be the exception that proves the rule. Perhaps the age of miracles hasn't passed.

As Joaquin Andujar said, "You can sum up baseball in one word: You never know."