Report: Josh Willingham is “100 percent retiring”

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Josh Willingham, who has struggled with injuries while seeing his production plummet during the past two seasons, is “100 percent retiring” after the season according to Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Berardino covered Willingham in Minnesota before he was traded to Kansas City, and between the two stops the 35-year-old outfielder has hit .218 with 14 homers and a .750 OPS in 91 games.

Willingham can still smack the occasional homer and draw walks, but he has a .212 batting average dating back to last season and has gone from terrible to totally immobile in left field. He’d fit somewhere as a part-time designated hitter, but apparently Willingham would rather call it quits after 11 seasons, 195 homers, and $35 million in earnings.

Willingham posted an OPS above .800 every season from 2006 to 2012, the last of which was a career-year with the Twins hitting .260 with 35 homers and an .890 OPS in 145 games.

Aaron Judge has a “pretty significant strain” of his oblique

Aaron Judge
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In case you missed it over the weekend, the New York Yankees suffered yet another huge blow when another huge star went on the injured list. The star: Aaron Judge, who strained his oblique during Saturday’s 9-2 win over the Royals.

Yesterday the Yankees placed him on the injured list. In so doing, Yankees manager Aaron Boone called it a “pretty significant strain in there.” The team did not offer a timeline, but Boone said they’ll monitor Judge for a couple of weeks to see where he is. Oblique strains, however, can cause a player to miss a lot of time. Four to six weeks is not unheard of for even moderate oblique strains. Guys with major strains have missed months.

Judge is the Yankees’ 13th player currently on the injured list and is the 14th Yankees player to visit it overall on the young season. Joining him there at the moment :

It’s an All-Star team’s worth of injuries. It’s such a good group of players that Ellsbury couldn’t even make the starting lineup of the all-injured team.

Though we often ignore it in season-long narratives of successful and unsuccessful teams, choosing to focus on great or poor performances, the fact of the matter is that team health is almost always a big, big factor in who wins and who loses. No one is going to cry for the Yankees here, of course, but at some point there are just too many injuries to overcome. One has to wonder if New York has reached that point yet.