The MLB regular season is slowly but surely coming to a close. There are only about 10 days left until the end of the season, so every game matters and every injury is massive for the teams that remain in contention. Let’s catch up on all of the big stories that you might have missed over the past week.
Some Back, Some Gone
These days, you need a scorecard to keep track of the Yankees who are currently injured and those who are coming back from injury. Returning from injury this week were Luis Severino, Jordan Montgomery, and Giancarlo Stanton.
Severino looked sharp in his season debut on Tuesday and could be a big part of the team’s postseason plans if he keeps it up. Montgomery was less effective, although the Yankees aren’t exactly counting on him in be a contributor during the playoffs.
Finally, Stanton returned on Wednesday after a long absence. With their other injuries, Stanton’s return is more of a need than a luxury, and if he can get hot late in the year, he could be huge during the playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Yankees thought they were getting Dellin Betances back after he missed nearly the entire season. However, Betances suffered a partially torn Achilles in his season debut to rule him out for the rest of the season.
The Yankees also have a wait-and-see approach with catcher Gary Sanchez and DH Edwin Encarnacion. Both suffered minor injuries during a recent doubleheader and are questionable to return before the end of the regular season. With Sanchez, in particular, there is a considerable drop-off offensively to his replacement, although the Yankees remain hopeful he’ll return for the postseason.
Someone who won’t be returning, even if his team makes the postseason, is Cleveland second baseman Jason Kipnis. He suffered a broken hamate bone over the weekend, and with a four-to-six week recovery time, his 2019 season is over.
Oddly enough, it’s the same injury that Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez suffered in August. The team is unsure if Ramirez will be able to make it back at some point, and having both he and Kipnis out at the same time is a huge blow to a team without much infield depth. Nevertheless, the Indians are just a half-game behind the Rays for the second Wild Card spot in the American League.
Maybe, Maybe Not
The Cubs are a little more optimistic about first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who sprained his ankle fielding a sacrifice bunt over the weekend. The sprained ankle is described as “mild,” and Rizzo was put into a walking boot for five to seven days.
He’ll be re-evaluated when he’s out of the walking boot, although sprained ankles are notoriously tricky, making it difficult to predict when Rizzo will be ready to return. The Cubs may need to reach the playoffs if they want to get Rizzo back. Chicago is currently tied with Milwaukee for the second Wild Card spot while both teams are three games behind the Cardinals in the NL Central.
The Cubs play seven of their last 10 games against the Cardinals, including a four-game series at Wrigley Field that begins Thursday.