As June turned to July, MLB finally started its second iteration of Spring Training 2020. As the week progressed, fans learned the latest about both injured and sick players as teams prepare for the abbreviated season. The New York Yankees injury update features some prominent names from the roster.
One of the newest-bitten players by the injury bug is pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. While pitching in a simulated game on Saturday, Tanaka was struck in the head by a line drive off the bat of outfielder/DH Giancarlo Stanton.
Tanaka was unable to stay in the game, but he was alert and responsive while leaving under his own power. He was sent to, and later released from, New York-Presbyterian Hospital. He put out the following statement on Twitter:
“I appreciate all the support,” Tanaka said. “I feel it a bit right now, but I’m all good. Going to try to get back to the mound ASAP! Thanks again for all the encouraging words!”
RHP Masahiro Tanaka has been released from the hospital. https://t.co/pj1xwKXVUf
— Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) July 4, 2020
The biggest concern for this season will be the handling of Covid-19. MLB got some great news on Friday with cases of the virus being low. In fact, MLB had 1.2% of the 3,185 players and staff tested comeback positive.
The Yankees were one of the 19 teams with at least one positive case, and manager Aaron Boone announced Saturday that infielder DJ LeMahieu and pitcher Luis Cessa were among those players. Both players gave Boone permission to reveal their names. LeMahieu is asymptomatic, but Cessa is showing some signs of the virus. They are self-isolating at home.
The #Yankees had two coronavirus positives: DJ LeMahieu & Luis Cessa. They are self-isolating at their homes and have given permission for the team to release that info.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) July 4, 2020
This week brought a good Yankees injury update for players that were dealing with problems before the season was suspended. Brian Cashman addressed the media on Wednesday discussing outfielders Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, and Stanton and pitcher James Paxton. He expressed that all four should be ready for Opening Day so long as their conditioning is up to par.
Cashman said Judge has recovered from the cracked rib and collapsed lung that he was dealing with in February. Additionally, Hicks has recovered from Tommy John surgery that he had after the 2019 ALCS. Cashman said they are both, “physically good.”
Their health was also on display Wednesday when they participated in a workout at Don Bosco Preparatory High School in Ramsey, NJ. The only question that remains is how they will react to the grind of 60 games in 66 days. They have three weeks to prove that they can do so and Cashman is optimistic with what he sees so far.
Aaron Judge took 5 rounds of batting practice, fly balls at Don Bosco Prep in RAMSEY (not Rahway, sorry peeps). Aaron Hicks looks "shredded" post-Tommy John surgery. Video and full story: https://t.co/K9y8bzKdyM
— Brendan Kuty (@BrendanKutyNJ) July 2, 2020
As for Stanton, his injured calf looks to be a non-issue now. The caveat is that there are concerns about his ability to play the outfield this season.
“The question is whether he will be any choice at all in the beginning as an outfielder or not,” Cashman said. “I don’t know that answer.”
Paxton has fully recovered from the back surgery he had in February, and he appears game ready. He also made his health known in a YES Network interview with Meredith Marakovits on May 22nd.
This Yankees injury update brings great news for a quartet of important players. However, the concerns moving forward are how Tanaka will recover from being hit in the head and LeMahieu’s and Cessa’s health with Covid-19.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images