According to my unofficial count, 27 of New York’s 39 injured list stints were for new soft tissue injuries, including five different players who were sidelined with calf strains. Here are the total number of man games lost to injury in 2019, via Sportrac:
It is not surprising then that, according to George King of the New York Post, the Yankees have fired strength and conditioning coach Matt Krause. Krause had been with the team since 2014 and was believed to have two years remaining on his contract. The Yankees sent 20 different players to the injured list for 23 total stints in 2018.
At his annual end-of-season press conference following the ALCS, GM Brian Cashman expressed concern that not only did so many players get hurt, but also that many players suffered setbacks. Severino hurt his lat while rehabbing his shoulder. Stanton hurt his shoulder while rehabbing his biceps. Betances suffered a setback with his shoulder as well. On and on it goes. “The failed rehabs that we had some cases — our area of focus is going to be in the area that might have been preventable, clearly, and the determination being is, are they preventable? Are these something that we’re missing? Is there something that in our process that is faulty?” Cashman said in October. “And I can assure you that that has been a laser focus and as I described it as the ‘CSI: The Bronx.’ That has occurred, has been occurring, and if there are any changes, you’ll eventually be made aware of them.”
When you lose as many players to injury as the Yankees did this past season, changes to the training staff are inevitable. It’s unclear whether the Yankees will make any changes in addition to dismissing Krause. Given the setbacks, the rehab staff at the club’s spring training facility in Tampa is likely to be reviewed as well (or has been already).
The 2,776 man games lost to injury were not only the most in baseball in 2019, they were more than 600 more than any other team in Spotrac’s database, which goes back to 2015. The Yankees lost key players too, not only spare parts. Giancarlo Stanton (biceps, knee) was limited to 18 games, Luis Severino (shoulder, lat) made three starts, and Dellin Betances (shoulder) faced two batters.