|"The biggest thing is everyone feels sad. That's a big streak for Hideki, and he's a big part of this lineup. He's such a good friend, and you feel terrible. He was in a lot of pain, and for him to be in a lot of pain, you knew it was something bad." - - Jason Giambi
As Matsui preps for surgery on his wrist today in New York, I’m sure he’s running Loretta’s fateful hit through his mind over and over. His sliding attempt to grab the ball snapped not only his wrist but his near-record games-played streak and the Yanks morale, as they went on to lose to the Red Sox (again) 5-3 last night. For a player as dedicated to the game and his team as Matsui, being sidelined is a crushing (no pun intended) blow, but the effect his injury will have on the Yankees’ season could be even more devastating.
With Matsui out indefinitely—no one can be certain just how long until after the surgery, though it’s been speculated that it could be as short as 3 months or as long as the rest of the season—and Sheffield on the DL for at least another couple weeks, the Yankees are suddenly down 2 starters. Bernie, Bubba Crosby, and Melky Cabrera are fully capable of sharing outfield duties between left and right field, but the 2 big bats missing in the lineup will surely put a damper on the Yanks’ offensive prowess. Outfielder Kevin Reese has already been called up from AAA to take Matsui’s place on the roster, but it is likely a temporary solution until Cashman and his gang come up with a more permanent answer to their batting and defensive woes. A trade for a player like Bobby Abreu, Torri Hunter, Shannon Stewart or even Alfonso Soriano has been discussed, but it is unclear who the Yanks would give up to get any one of them.
Once the surgery on Matsui’s wrist is complete the Yanks will have a better idea of how long he’ll be out. A fractured wrist is no small injury, though, and regardless of how long he is on the DL, it could take quite a while to get him back up to his usual caliber. If the Yankees decide to forgo the trade route in hopes that Cabrera, Crosby and Reese can get them through this rough patch, those 3 are going to be feeling some serious pressure to get the job done in the field and at the plate, but it will also be a terrific opportunity for any of them to prove that they have what it takes to be a starter.
Labels: injuries, roster moves