After putting together an outstanding June and emerging as one of the best teams in baseball, the news was not good for the Yankees on Wednesday. In the span of about 24 hours, New York lost both Andy Pettitte and C.C. Sabathia to the disabled list. Sabathia’s injury is believed to be only a strained muscle in his leg that should cause him to miss two starts. Pettitte, on the other hand, suffered a broken ankle and is expected to miss at least six weeks.
At age 40 and coming off a year in which he didn’t pitch at all, Pettitte had somehow managed to become a rock in the Yankees’ rotation before going down. He has a 3.22 ERA and pitched six or more innings in every start except his most recent one where he suffered the injury. New York has become as reliant on him this season as they were in the early 2000s. And Sabathia is, well, Sabathia.
So what do these injuries mean for the AL East going forward? The good news for the Yankees is the season is young. Assuming Sabathia only misses two turns in the rotation, New York still has the option of pursuing trade options at the deadline to fill in for Pettitte. However, with the way the Orioles have played this season there is not much margin for error in the division.
The Red Sox are also slowly making a charge. They have won 11 of their last 14 games and are catching fire at the perfect time with Carl Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury and Andrew Bailey all set to come off the DL over the next month. While other teams will be looking to make trades to improve around the deadline, Boston can stand pat and simply get healthy. With all five teams in the AL East currently above .500, Pettitte’s injury could turn out to be a significant blow to New York.
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