Monday, June 22, 2015

Most Popular Article of the Week: Pitchers Hiding Injuries Falls Back on Joe Girardi

This season already for the New York Yankees we have heard stories of three pitchers, Chase Whitley, Chris Martin and now Jacob Lindgren, who have hidden injuries and tried to pitch through them rather than speaking up and getting the issue fixed right away. The pitchers themselves has used the excuse that they thought they could pitch through it and they were just trying to help the team win but I call bull on that, in my opinion these pitchers hid the injuries because of Joe Girardi, his bullpen management and his lack of trust in the younger players on the team.

Girardi took a terrible Joe Torre led bullpen from 2007 and turned the team’s biggest weakness into their biggest strength with essentially the same cast of characters. Ever since then and ever since a 2009 World Series championship and a deep run into the ALCS in 2012 Girardi has done a complete 180 reverting back to the old days. Girardi no longer wants to or shows trusts in his rookies and his younger pitchers, with obvious exceptions like Dellin Betances, and would rather rely on the likes of Esmil Rogers, Chris Capuano, Matt Thornton and others.

The Yankees once had now closer Mark Melancon in their bullpen and flat out refused to use him more than once a week leaving him rusty and ineffective. Melancon was later traded and thrived with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Houston Astros while the Yankees had Lance Berkman for two months of a disappointing season. The Yankees also once had David Robertson in their bullpen and it took three promotions to the major leagues before he stuck around long enough to work his way into the “Circle of Trust” and eventually into the Yankees closer’s role replacing Mariano Rivera. The list of players the Yankees once had, refused to use and over-groomed is extensive and I could sit here all day listing them off but if you’re a Yankees fan and you watch the games then you know the names and I don’t have to.

Now you have the likes of Whitley, Martin and Lindgren hiding injuries and trying to pitch through them. Every once in a while you have a pitcher that simply wants to help the team and tries to pitch through a little nagging injury but when you have three pitchers in less than three months you have developed a pattern. This pattern was caused, again in my opinion, because they didn’t think or know if they would ever get another shot in pinstripes under the Girardi regime. If this is the case, and that’s a big if, the Yankees management needs to start looking at their own when they find themselves scratching their head this October as they watch the St. Louis Cardinals or the San Francisco Giants in the World Series again while the Yankees have gone playoff-less for three seasons now.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)