Back in Spring Training, when the Yankees first had their run of injuries, which is now up to 11, it wasn’t supposed to be until the middle of May when we would start to see some of these players return.
Well, the middle of May is just a week away so when can we expect them to start coming back? Let’s run down the list.
Curtis Granderson, broken forearm, is definitely the closest to a return. He’s played in four extended spring training games and could be as little as a week or two away from the Bronx depending on how many at bats they want to get him before letting him loose. I think it’s safe to say that he’s at most two to three more weeks away so start expecting him back toward the end of this month.
Mark Teixeira, torn tendon sheath in his wrist, has finally begun to make some real progression during his rehab. He took live batting practice in the cage yesterday and should be on the field for BP within the next week. My guess is that it will be about 3-4 weeks from there so sometime during the first or second week of June seems realistic at this point. He has to be careful though because he’s still prone to setbacks.
Alex Rodriguez, hip surgery, finally resumed baseball activities yesterday for the first time since offseason surgery. He played catch and hit off a tee as part of the start of a 30-day rehab. After that it’s probably a 4-6 week simulated Spring Training for him which puts him on track, with no setbacks, for a mid to late July return.
Michael Pineda, shoulder surgery, is pitching in extended spring training games and is hitting the mid-90s with his fastball. Soon he’ll start pitching in minor league games and at that point he’ll start a 30-day rehab clock. Once those 30 days are up, probably around mid-June, the Yankees will have to make a decision to call him up or use an option to keep him in the minors.
Francisco Cervelli, broken hand, has already begun rehab down in Tampa. His injury typically takes 6-8 weeks to recover from. The Yankees put him on the 60-day DL though so he’s not eligible to come off that until July. He’ll, hopefully, be ready to return as soon as those 60 days are up.
There hasn’t been a ton of Derek Jeter updates since his latest setback returning from his broken ankle. The Yankees say he’ll be back after the All-Star game, but at this point Jeter is probably a month or two away from returning after he resumes baseball activities. And it doesn’t sound like he’s going to be ready to do that anytime soon. I’m thinking anything before August isn’t realistic.
Kevin Youkilis, stiff back, is eligible to come off the DL on May 13. No word on if he’ll actually be ready on or near that date, but that’s what the Yankees have made it sound like.
Not to leave out a couple of relievers — Clay Rapada, sore shoulder, has been pitching in Triple-A and seems poised to come back by June at the latest. There haven’t been as many Cesar Cabral updates, but he was on the same schedule as Michael Pineda. Not sure if he’s pitching in extended spring games, but because he was a Rule 5 Draft guy the Yankees don’t have a ton of incentive to bring him back until they have to, especially with fellow lefty Rapada ready to come back.
The other two on the DL are Ivan Nova, triceps inflammation, and Joba Chamberlain, oblique injury. So far it’s a little too early to tell with them. The Yankees have downplayed the severity of their injuries, but they do that with every injury. Hopefully both are able to come off the 15-day DL when they are eligible, but right now it seems like they could be out a month at most. We’ll see.
• I mentioned this the other day, but I didn’t want anyone to miss it — Granderson has been playing all three outfield positions during his rehab and Joe Girardi has changed his tune on him only playing center field when he returns. Many have speculated that this means he’ll play left field, but Vernon Wells has done so well that I’m thinking he could play right field too/instead.
• Reading from the Colorado area? Buy Yankees tickets even when they’re on the road.
Photo credit: Steve Nesius/Steven J. Nesius Photography.