The Strike Zone

Yankees' injury woes continue as Curtis Granderson suffers another broken bone via HBP

Curtis Granderson broken pinkyCurtis Granderson sat out the first month of the season after being hit by a pitch on his right arm. (Chris O'Meara/AP)

Curtis Granderson is headed back to the disabled list after having his left pinkie broken by a Cesar Ramos pitch in the fifth inning of the Yankees' 9-4 win over the Rays on Friday night. This injury comes just 11 days after Granderson was activated off the DL, where he spent the first month of the season after having his right forearm broken by the first pitch he saw in spring training.

There's no official word yet on how much time the Yankees expect Granderson to miss (Joe Girardi said at least four weeks after the game), but Alex Rodriguez suffered a similar injury last July, a pinkie broken by a pitch, and spent 40 days on the disabled list. Rodriguez's injury was to his bottom hand, while Granderson's was to his top. It will be interesting to see how that effects his ability to come back from the injury. From one perspective, the lower pinkie is more engaged in a batter's swing, particularly a power-hitter's swing, but from another, the top pinkie is rubbing against the lower hand, a situation that recalls another Rodriguez injury, a sore left thumb in late 2011 that led Yankees' hitting coach Kevin Long to teach Rodriguez to hit with his hands slightly apart on the bat, a remedy that could be in Granderson's future.

In the meantime, the parade of Yankees injuries continues as Granderson goes down again, just when several of his teammates, including Mark Teixeira, Kevin Youkilis, Joba Chamberlain, and Eduardo Nuñez, were preparing to join him on the active roster. Here's a quick look at the Yankees who have hit the disabled list this season (not counting pitchers Michael Piñeda and Cesar Cabral, who also missed all of last season):

PlayerInjuryG missedDue back
Derek Jeterre-broken ankle47+after ASB
Alex Rodriguezhip surgery47+after ASB
Mark Teixeiratorn tendon sheath in wrist47+May 31
Curtis Grandersonbroken ulna, pinkie38+unknown
Kevin Youkilisbulging disc30+May 31
Francisco Cervellibroken hand25+late June
Joba Chamberlainstrained oblique24+next week
Eduardo Nuñezstrained oblique17+next week
Ivan Novatriceps inflammation5*(active)
Andy Pettittetrapezius strain1*+June 2
Phil Hughesbulging disc0(active)

*starts missed

The above list includes three of the Yankees' four intended starting infieders (Teixeira, Jeter, and Rodriguez) as well as two of their replacement starters (Youkilis and Nuñez), their starting catcher (Cervelli, who hit .268/.377/.500 before having his hand broken by a foul ball), their home-run leader in each of the last two seasons (Granderson, who hit 84 homers in those two campaigns combined), and three-fifths of their Opening Day rotation (though that last one is a bit of a cheat given that Hughes didn't miss a start and Nova was on the verge of pitching his way out of the rotation anyway). Twice this season they have had both members of their starting battery leave a game due to injury (Chris Stewart strained his groin in the game in which Pettitte got hurt and missed five games; Friday night was his first start since that game).

Despite all that, the Yankees remain in first place in the American League East with the second-best record in the AL, a performance in which Granderson, who played in just eight games between DL stints, has had almost no part. I continue to doubt they'll be able to keep this up much longer (third-order wins put the Yankees closer to .500 than .600), but it sure is fascinating to watch both the Yankees' awful luck with regard to injuries and their remarkable ability to keep winning despite them, at least so far.

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