Yankees injury latest: Cole visits LA specialist for more tests, Judge likely to play today

The New York Yankees team is at their last open practice at Tampa, FL, on February 23, 2024.

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On Wednesday, Yankees ace Gerrit Cole jets off to Los Angeles for further examination of his right elbow by specialist Dr. Neal ElAttrache. Known as the head team physician for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Dr. ElAttrache boasts expertise in diagnosing and treating elbow-related issues, making him a trusted resource for athletes like Cole seeking top-notch medical care.

The star pitcher is facing a setback due to discomfort in his right elbow. Announced on March 16th, Cole will take a three-to-four-week break from throwing, with a projected return to action in May or June.

Cole initially reported difficulty bouncing back between spring training starts, experiencing fatigue levels similar to those following a 100-pitch regular-season outing. An MRI scan on March 11th prompted further testing on March 12th, culminating in a visit to renowned sports surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles on March 14th.

New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole at Tampa on Feb 24, 2024.

The good news: Dr. ElAttrache’s diagnosis revealed no significant damage to Cole’s ulnar collateral ligament (UCL), the key ligament in throwing motions. This eliminates the need for Tommy John surgery and allows for a conservative treatment plan focused on rest and rehabilitation.

The anticipated timeline for Cole’s return to the starting rotation is 10-12 weeks. In a statement on March 16th, Cole acknowledged that he and the team may have pushed too hard during spring training. Despite following standard recovery protocols, Cole wasn’t regaining his usual strength between starts. This prompted a more cautious approach and the additional testing to ensure a full and healthy recovery.

While Cole’s absence creates a significant void in the Yankees‘ rotation, the positive news is the lack of structural damage and the projected return timeframe. The upcoming weeks will involve alternative training methods, with Cole engaging in plyometric exercises to maintain arm strength during his throwing hiatus.

Yankees injury latest: Aaron Judge eyes March 20 return


There’s positive news on the pinstripe horizon as Aaron Judge ramps up his return from abdominal discomfort. According to manager Aaron Boone, Judge could potentially be back in the lineup as early as March 20th.

Encouraging signs emerged over the past two days with Judge facing high-velocity pitching machines on March 17th and simulated breaking balls on March 18th. Boone emphasized the team’s cautious approach, prioritizing long-term health. “We don’t want this to turn into something real, which I think is smart,” Boone stated.

Judge initially reported the discomfort, concentrated on his swing follow-through, a week ago. A clean MRI scan followed on March 11th, paving the way for a gradual return to activity. Defensive workouts began on March 12th, followed by treatment on March 13th.

Judge’s progression continued on March 15th with weight room exercises and tee-and-toss cage work. Despite being initially slated for a March 16th return, he opted for further caution, focusing on defensive drills and indoor batting practice on March 18th.

Both Judge and the Yankees share a sense of optimism. The clean MRI and the team’s measured approach provide reassurance. Judge himself emphasized the importance of prioritizing Opening Day readiness over rushing back during Spring Training. With continued progress, a March 20th return appears to be a realistic possibility.

Yankees injury latest: LeMahieu likely to miss Opening Day

LeMahieu with Yankees manager Aaron Boone.

New York Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieu‘s availability for Opening Day is up in the air following a significant bone bruise in his right foot. Manager Aaron Boone announced the injury on March 17th, stemming from LeMahieu fouling a ball off his foot the day prior.

While X-rays and a CT scan conducted on March 17th revealed no major structural damage, LeMahieu did experience some soreness. He subsequently consulted with a specialist on March 18th.

Boone revealed that LeMahieu would be re-evaluated on March 21st, with a definitive timeline for his return yet to be determined (TBD).

The manager acknowledged past concerns regarding LeMahieu’s foot and his initial hesitation in allowing him to play through discomfort. Boone expressed concerns about potential compensation issues arising from further injury, which could impact other parts of LeMahieu’s body, including the foot itself. He emphasized ongoing transparency with LeMahieu throughout this process.

The Yankees will closely monitor LeMahieu’s recovery and hope to have him healthy in time for Opening Day. However, his status remains uncertain for now.

Yankees injury latest: Peraza out 6-8 weeks

Oswald Peraza, player of the new york yankees

The New York Yankees face a double dose of injury woes with infielder Oswald Peraza and right-handed pitcher Tommy Kahnle sidelined.

Peraza, a promising young infielder, is expected to miss significant time due to a right sub-scapular strain. An MRI on March 7 and a dye-contrast arthrogram on March 8 confirmed the injury. Manager Aaron Boone announced Peraza will be sidelined for six to eight weeks, meaning a return is likely sometime in April or May. Despite experiencing initial shoulder discomfort on February 25, Peraza attempted to play through it. He appeared at second base against the Mets on March 5 and shortstop against the Rays the next day. However, the injury ultimately required him to step away from baseball activities entirely.

Yankees injury latest: Kahnle to return in April

Tommy Kahnle, player of the New York Yankees

Right-handed reliever Tommy Kahnle is also on the mend, battling right shoulder inflammation. Kahnle himself expressed on March 6 that he doesn’t anticipate returning to game action until the first week of the regular season, effectively ruling him out of Opening Day consideration. Manager Aaron Boone confirmed this on March 4, stating that Kahnle was lagging behind the other relievers in terms of spring training progression. This setback stems from a shoulder issue that prematurely ended his season last September.

Kahnle’s initial plan was to begin throwing again around Thanksgiving. However, lingering discomfort forced him to delay his throwing program until December 12th. As of March 6, he reported being pain-free, offering a positive sign for his eventual return in April.

These injuries represent a setback for the Yankees, who will need to adjust their depth chart and potentially rely on other players to fill the void left by Peraza and Kahnle in the early part of the season. However, the positive news is both players are expected to return within a reasonable timeframe, providing reinforcements as the season progresses.

Yankees injury latest: The injured list update

Here’s an update on several key Yankees players currently on the 60-day injured list:

Jasson Domínguez rebounding from Tommy John surgery

Jasson Dominguez during the spring training

Promising young outfielder Jasson Domínguez is making encouraging strides in his recovery from Tommy John surgery, performed last September by Dr. Keith Meister in Arlington to address a partial tear in his right UCL (ulnar collateral ligament). The procedure included internal bracing for added stability.

Domínguez has gradually increased his throwing distance, currently reaching 75 feet. Additionally, he’s scheduled to begin bilateral batting practice on March 11th, resuming his swing from the left side as well as his natural righty swing. Manager Aaron Boone expressed optimism about Domínguez’s progress on March 8th, highlighting consistent positive updates and his avoidance of setbacks. The Yankees project his potential participation in Minor League rehab games sometime in April or May. A return to the major leagues is anticipated in June or July.

Lou Trivino gearing to back on track after surgery

Right-handed pitcher Lou Trivino, rewarded with a contract extension (with a 2025 option) on February 14th, is also on the mend following Tommy John surgery performed on May 3rd, 2023. His throwing program is progressing steadily, and the Yankees expect him to rejoin the team sometime during the summer.

Scott Effross battling back from double trouble

Right-hander Scott Effross has faced a challenging road to recovery. He underwent Tommy John surgery in October 2022 and began throwing again in March 2023. However, his progress was hampered by lower back discomfort in the fall, necessitating a microdiscectomy on his L4-L5 vertebrae in December. Despite these setbacks, Effross remains focused on a full return. Manager Aaron Boone anticipates a gradual progression, with a target of pitching in major league games by summertime. Effross was transferred to the 60-day IL on February 14th. His unwavering determination to contribute to the Yankees’ World Series aspirations serves as a positive note for the team.

While these players will miss the beginning of the season, their continued progress provides promising signs for their return later in 2024.

Jorbit Vivas sent to Triple-A

The New York Yankees made a move on their infield depth chart on March 18th, optioning highly-touted prospect Jorbit Vivas to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Acquired in an offseason trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers alongside reliever Victor González, the 23-year-old Vivas turned heads during his time at Yankees camp. He displayed a potent bat, recording an impressive .897 OPS (On-Base Percentage + Slugging Percentage) and launching two home runs in just 31 plate appearances.

Jorbit Vivas celebrates after hitting a homer during Yankees 22-10 win over the Tigers at Tampa spring training facility.

This strong showing built upon a successful 2023 minor league campaign. Splitting time between Double-A and Triple-A, Vivas displayed a well-rounded offensive skillset, batting .269 with a .381 on-base percentage and a .407 slugging percentage. He added power to his game with 13 home runs, while also showcasing his baserunning ability with 25 stolen bases in 135 games.

While primarily playing second base, Vivas also saw some action at third base, demonstrating versatility on the defensive side of the ball.

This stint in Triple-A will allow Vivas to continue honing his skills and potentially earn a call-up to the major leagues later in the season, depending on the Yankees’ needs and his performance.

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