Get Jacked, Get Hurt? More Yankees Head to IL

The Yankees announced via Twitter that shortstop Gleyber Torres and lefty starter James Paxton were on their way to the IL. Torres received an MRI revealing a grade 1 strain of his left quad and left hamstring. Paxton also underwent an MRI that showed a grade 1 strain of the left forearm flexor.

Both 10-day IL stays.

Do the Yankees really have bad luck? Or do these recent IL trips expose the Yankees’ “body-builder” obsession with physical fitness as a failure for baseball?

Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Luke Voit, Aaron Hicks… ALL lost to muscle strains with regularity. Not just this year, it’s a trend starting back in 2016. Stanton played just 18 games in 2019. He somehow managing just 14 games before his 2020 undoing to a hamstring strain.

This Yankees group has more strains than Wiz Khalifa’s center console, so how can a history of ailments be swept under the rug as bad luck? It shouldn’t. The Bronx Bombers are known to be a power hitting unit with a roster filled of football bodies.

Intentions for higher ceiling output on the field, but yielding results that have only led this team to the trainer’s room. This team has fallen victim to the Houston Astros while seemingly NEVER having a full strength roster. Injuries dismantling what should an era reminiscent of the early 00’s three-peat.

Even Giancarlo tried to lose weight to stay on the field…

Why do the Yanks refuse to address the problem?

The team seems bought in to rotating one man after the other set up for failure because it works in the regular season. A deep farm system allows the team to absorb any deficiency, but this haunts them in the postseason. When all hands are on deck for a series, rosters need to be as healthy as possible.

We asked Outkick’s Dr. David Chao what gives with more injuries for the Yankees:

“COVID has changed the way athletes work out. Many have bulked up. Combined with the lack of routine and start up time, any loss of flexibility could lead to muscle injuries.”

Maybe winning a ton of regular season games with high output short term solutions is the goal? The formula to win games and fall short in the end seems to be paying off as the Yankees made over $700 million last year. The World Series co-favorites need to figure out the common denominator that keeps sending the roster to the IL…or risk making the 2020 campaign like the past decade:

Disappointing.

Research is designed to help understand why we see trends..what can be done to reverse course? Are the results uncontrollable? Do we simply have “injury-prone” guys in the locker room?

The team hired a completely new training staff this offseason, but nothing changed. With the current 60-game season, the Yanks need to narrow the cause for players dropping like flies or let another WS team go to waste…

Written by Gary Sheffield, Jr

Gary Sheffield Jr is the son of should-be MLB Hall of Famer, Gary Sheffield. He covers basketball and baseball for OutKick.com, chats with the Purple and Gold faithful on LakersNation, and shitposts on Twitter. You can follow him at GarySheffieldJr

7 Comments

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  1. Given that over a dozen Yankees were busted for PEDs in the Torre era alone [y’know the guy in charge of the testing program now] is there another possible explanation for all these injuries consistent with asymmetrical muscle growth?

  2. Maybe these guys are just being overprotected and babied too much. Everybody plays hurt out there, but that doesn’t mean you’re injured. Muscle strains and pulls are known as life playing sports. Sometimes you would think these guys could maybe gut through a tight hammy or sore calf maybe? I watched Albert Pujols play with a torn elbow ligament for 10 years before finally having surgery in 2018. He’s just tough. I saw John Smoltz pitch from 3/4 arm angle half a season trying to postpone bone spur surgery in his elbow. Again, tough guy. These current guys think if they feel a little stiff or have some pain they need to sit out. Man, that’s just the way it is playing sports.

  3. Chicks, and general managers, dig the long ball. You can get a big contract if you can hit home runs like Paul Bunyan. I don’t think players are too concerned about maximizing their availability, as long as they can get that cash.

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