Will a resurgent Anthony Rizzo emerge for the Yankees in 2024?

John Allen
Sunday January 21, 2024

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The Anthony Rizzo saga from last summer left a bitter aftertaste for Yankees fans, standing out as a significant misstep in their medical staff’s handling of post-concussion syndrome. Following a brutal collision in late May, his impressive performance of a .304 average, 11 homers, and 32 RBI in 53 games, projecting to a remarkable 33-homer, 94-RBI pace, vanished overnight.

Upon returning from a brief stint on the injured list, Anthony Rizzo appeared like a mere shadow of his former self, enduring two months of meager performance with a paltry .172 average. In August, a diagnosis of post-concussion syndrome prematurely concluded his season.

While the Yankees acknowledged that Anthony Rizzo had passed concussion protocols before returning, the failure to recognize his evident cognitive struggles was a costly error. Allowing him to play through that Baltimore series and into the subsequent week was a risky gamble, albeit one that did not result in permanent consequences.

Yankees' Anthony Rizzo in action against the Royals.
New York Yankees

Yankees hoping for offensive outburst from Anthony Rizzo

Fortunately, two months later, the outlook is positive. Anthony Rizzo expresses feeling good, his test results indicate healing, and he anticipates participating in spring training without restrictions. Brian Cashman shares this optimism, stating, “We’re hopeful he’ll be the Anthony Rizzo we can count on.”

However, this hope is tempered with caution. Clint Frazier’s extended struggles following his own concussion serve as a stark reminder of potential long-term effects. While the Yankees trust Anthony Rizzo’s and his doctors’ assessments, they acknowledge the inherent unpredictability of head injuries.

Anthony Rizzo with Aaron Judge

“It’s not uncharted territory,” notes Cashman, “but it’s a challenging one.” He underscores Rizzo’s well-being and positive reports but does not shy away from acknowledging the lingering uncertainty. “The brain is a tricky thing,” he admits, “even with experts involved.”

Anthony Rizzo’s recovery presents an opportunity for a positive resolution, but the Yankees proceed with cautious optimism, cognizant of the potential lasting impact of this injury throughout the season and beyond.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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