Despite injuries, New York Yankees keep winning

Banner for TTFB columnist Jackie Micucci's "The Bombers Blast" New York Yankees

Travis Hafner swings and gets a hit for the New York Yankees.
Travis Hafner has been Mr. Reliable for the ailing, yet winning, New York Yankees.

You just can’t kill the New York Yankees. They’ve got injuries to their outfield. They’ve got injuries to their infield. They’ve got injuries to their rotation and their bullpen. Heck, even GM Brian Cashman is on crutches. Yet, the Yankees are 18-12 and just completed a 7-3 home stand.

When I see the lineup posted before games, I shake my head. How can they possibly keep winning? The only true star power on the field is Robinson Cano. While that’s nothing to sneeze at, let’s remember they’ve got guys like Jayson Nix and Chris Stewart playing regularly on their offense.

Part of the team’s competiveness is due to getting production from players they have no business getting production from. Both Vernon Wells and Francisco Cervelli got out of the gate to very hot starts. Then, as Wells cooled off and Cervelli went down with a broken hand, Ichiro Suzuki and Lyle Overbay heated up. Travis Hafner, another one of the New York Yankees’ reclamation projects, seems to be re-charged by the pinstripes (and never, ever having to play in the field). He has come up with the big hit whenever the Yankees seem to need one. Hafner has looked great at the plate. He has an OPS of .999, a .582 slugging percentage and trails only Cano in the home run department. (Cano has eight while Hafner has six.)

Those home runs keep coming too. The Bombers are living up to their nickname, even with a cast of cast-offs. They have slugged a combined 40 home runs, which puts them tied with Cleveland for the most in the American League.

Even as I get frustrated by the daily DL toll (is anyone ever coming back?), I’ve enjoyed watching guys rise to the occasion. Most recently, Adam Warren was called up thanks to Joba Chamberlain joining the New York Yankees’ All-Star disabled list and Dave Robertson‘s sore hamstring. Warren pitched three scoreless innings on Sunday, giving the Yankees a chance to win a tight game. If he keeps it up, Warren may be this year’s David Phelps.

I have to admit it’s been fun to watch this team of also-rans and emergency call-ups. Maybe it’s because of the lack of unrealistic expectations. Maybe it’s because this seems like a really loose group of guys grabbing the opportunity presented to them. Or maybe it’s because the 2013 New York Yankees were declared dead on arrival before the season even began. No matter. The New York Yankees are alive and well, and biding their time until the big boys get healthy.

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