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Yankees look to stay healthy after injury-filled 2023

 WBN  |    Feb 16th, 2024 3:16pm EST

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The New York Yankees had the third-most games lost to injuries last season and it showed in an 82-80 record that caused them miss the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

“Everybody knows what our problem has been the past few years,” Yankees left-hander Nester Cortes said before Friday’s spring training workout. “So we’re trying to take care of it as best as we can.”

Cortes was part of a large turnout for offseason workouts at the Yankees’ minor league complex that started in January.

“We’ve just got to put it upon ourselves to be better and get prepared properly in the offseason,” Cortes said. “That’s what it comes down to.”

New York lost 2,158 games due to injuries. Only the Los Angeles Dodgers (2,465) and the Los Angeles Angels (2,346) had more.

“Certainly there were injuries that were outside the normal realm of injuries that impacted us,” New York ace Gerrit Cole said. “With that said, we get injured too much as a group. We need to improve.”

Carlos Rodón (3-8, 6.85 ERA in 14 starts) also arrived early to Tampa. Both Rodón and Cortes (5-2, 4.97) are coming off injuries and have throw to hitters multiple times.

Sluggers Giancarlo Stanton (101 games), Anthony Rizzo (99 games) and DJ LeMahieu (136 games) were impacted by injuries. Captain Aaron Judge missed 42 games after tearing a ligament in his right big toe when crashed into the right-field fence at Dodger Stadium on June 3.

“I do think last year, we wind up in a bad position early in some cases,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. “In other cases, just happenstance. But some injuries I think were probably brought on by, you know, maybe not being in the best position to start. Other injuries like Judge’s in right field in Dodger Stadium because again, competition.”

Cole did find some positives from the 2023 season, which he called a disaster. The Yankees extended their streak of consecutive winning seasons to 31, The only longer run was the 1926-64 Yankees, which lasted 39 years.

“Being hamstrung for a great part of the year, there was a lot of grit that showed,” Cole said. “We have a 30-some consecutive year run of finishing over .500, so when the greater goals faded away, there was a little bit of a rallying factor around that.”


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