The Yankees' injuries are getting worrisome

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They’re playing great baseball and everything, but the Yankees have to be worried about their health at some point, no?  Three of the core four, as all the cool kids are calling them, have gone down: Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and now Andy Pettitte, all sidelined with injuries. Now those cool kids are calling them the “sore four.”  Wait, that’s not cool. That’s kind of lame.

But the point is taken: three-fourths of the crew that are currently gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated for their unprecedented resilience are ailing. They’re getting Rivera and maybe even Posada back in time for the Red
Sox series this weekend. Pettitte is more of a concern given that, as
Buster Olney wrote this morning
, “inflammation” is not really a
diagnosis. It’s a symptom, and it can mean any number of things, some of
which could be serious.

In light of all of this, the question has to be asked: isn’t it funny how all the “core four” fans like to pretend that Andy Pettitte never played for Houston?

Wait, that’s not the right question. The right question is: can the Yankees deal with these injuries and still keep up with a Rays team that seems to be unstoppable?

So far so good, as Francisco Cervelli has filled in nicely for Posada and Joba Chamberlain could close for a lot of teams. Likewise, Brett Gardner, Nick Swisher, Robbie Cano and Derek Jeter are all playing great baseball.  It’s a team with so many weapons that one or two can go down and things can be OK. But it’s certainly not ideal. Especially Pettitte’s injury, because there isn’t some easy answer for the rotation if he’s down for long.

Winning a championship is not simply a matter of writing checks. You need luck and above all else you need health.  The Yankees have had those two things in abundance for the past 15 years.  If it doesn’t hold up they can forget repeating.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.