After a two-game sweep over heated rival Boston, the New York Yankees look to continue their hot streak heading into a four-game series with the Kansas City Royals. With a lineup decimated by injury, many of the Yankees big bats are on the shelf and they’ve had to rely heavily on AAA affiliate Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to send young players up to stem the bleeding.
Despite the Yankees struggles with injuries, the situation has allowed a few new additions to shine and possibly carve out a crucial role moving forward. Clint Frazier has looked spectacular since being called up from AAA and has hit the cover off the ball to the tune of a .333 batting average heading into today’s matchup. DJ LeMahieu also looks to have carved himself out a near-everyday role on the back of his exceptional defense and OBP.
However, the Yankees are still forced to rely on players like Gio Urshela and Joe Harvey, both of which should be nowhere near this roster at full strength. Even today’s starting pitcher, the young and exciting Domingo German, wouldn’t have made the starting rotation if both CC Sabathia and Luis Severino hadn’t started the year off injured and suspended. All of that is to say that the Yankees are hands down the most banged up team in baseball.
Yankees Lineup & Roster vs Royals – April 18th
SP – Domingo German (R)
Gary Sanchez and the Yankees Walking Wounded Injury Update
With an astounding 12 players on the injured list, one glimmering spot of hope is the near return of Gary Sanchez. Sanchez has been out with a left calf injury since he left a game on April 11th and his absence has been sorely missed – especially considering the sheer number of power bats missing from the lineup. Sanchez was seen running at Yankee Stadium before the Royals game and looks on track to make his return on Sunday.
Out from the lineup alongside Sanchez are Giancarlo Stanton, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Hicks, and Miguel Andujar. While the Yankees still have Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres, there isn’t too much established lineup protection for Judge and pitchers have been able to get by with pitching around him and attacking the rest of the lineup. Even considering Sanchez’s absence over the past week, he still leads the Yankees in home runs and is a bat that pitchers have to respect.