Yankees handicapped by over 9 win swing after injuries cost them 14.7 WAR in 2023

Yankees' Aaron Judge took a spectacular catch at Dodger Stadium but hurt his toe when he crashed into the wall.

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The 2023 season for the New York Yankees was one fraught with adversity, primarily due to a string of significant injuries that crippled the team’s performance. The Bronx Bombers, historically one of baseball’s most storied and successful franchises, found themselves in a peculiar predicament as key players hit the injured list, significantly impacting their season outcome.

Impact of injuries on the Yankees 2023 season

The Yankees’ roster faced a barrage of injuries that sidelined essential players across the board. Star outfielder Aaron Judge, first baseman Anthony Rizzo, pitcher Carlos Rodon, Nestor Cortes, slugger Giancarlo Stanton, and DJ LeMahieu were just a few of the significant names that spent time on the injured list. This wave of injuries was not only a blow to the team’s morale but also had quantifiable implications on their season’s performance.

Yankees catcher Jose Trevino was injured in August 2022 in Oakland. Trevino left the game before the bottom of the ninth.
AP

The 2023 Yankees saw a staggering loss of 14.7 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) due to these injuries. To put this into perspective, the average MLB team last season lost around 5.5 WAR to injuries. The Yankees’ loss was thus 9.2 WAR above the league average, illustrating the severe impact injuries had on their ability to win games. With a healthy roster, projections suggested the Yankees could have won significantly more games, given that their pre-season over/under was set at 94.5 wins, but they only achieved 82 victories. This 12.5-win shortfall starkly underscores the detrimental effect injuries had on their campaign.

Moreover, the Yankees’ pattern of high Injury Index rankings in recent years, peaking again in 2023, indicates systemic issues with player health and durability. Their consistent placement among teams with heavy IL use raises questions about their training, medical staff, and perhaps even player utilization strategies.

Yankees 2024: Persistent injury risks and future concerns

Looking ahead to 2024, the Yankees find themselves once again high on the Injury Risk Index. This persistent vulnerability to player injuries casts a shadow over their upcoming season. While the team undoubtedly has the talent and resources to contend for championships, their potential is consistently undermined by the inability to keep their best players on the field.

The teams that manage to minimize their IL stints and maximize their player availability often have a competitive edge. For the Yankees, finding a way to reverse their injury misfortune will be crucial. This might involve reevaluating their medical and training staff, adopting new injury prevention strategies, or possibly reconsidering how they assess and manage player health risks. What do you think? Leave your comment below!

One thought on “Yankees handicapped by over 9 win swing after injuries cost them 14.7 WAR in 2023

  1. Judge’s injury was not at all the fault of medical and training staff, just a freak accident when he broke his toe on the base of the Dodger Stadium wall. However, failing to diagnose Rizzo’s concussion symptoms was unfathomable. Also, they never seemed to figure out a routine to keep Stanton off the IL, except to limit his fielding and running, which failed to work, and now he has done his own re-thinking of his body on his own. Rodon was never right and Cashman got snookered.

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