During the offseason, I will dive into injuries as they come up. I will use my knowledge and what is being reported by the team to give an estimated return date and performance outlook for the rest of the season.
Mitch Haniger – Sports Hernia
Mitch Haniger recently suffered a sports hernia while taking batting practice last week. This new injury stems from the procedure he had on his ruptured testicle during the 2019 season. Unfortunately for Haniger, this will delay the start of his season, but I wouldn’t expect this to impact his season-long outlook. Since this is an injury involving his core, I would add another four weeks to the initial six-to-eight week timeline until Haniger is back to full strength. We will get a clearer image of when Haniger will make his season debut in about six weeks.
Luis Urias – Fractured Hamate Bone
Luis Urias underwent surgery for a fractured hamate bone this past week. This injury is going to cost Urias all of spring training and a good chunk of the start of the season. After the fractured is healed (six-to-eight weeks), he should be set to resume baseball activities without issue and have a chance to return for the majority of the season. Given the timing of the surgery, this should not greatly impact Urias’s season.
James Paxton – Peridiscal Cyst Removal
James Paxton underwent back surgery to have a peridiscal cyst removed earlier this week. This was something that Paxton was dealing with since the end of the 2019 season. The main question we are all asking is, why wait till February to have the surgery? While it is a fair question, I will always be an advocate for trying conservative treatment before going under the knife. Once you have surgery, your body will never be the same again. If conservative treatment fails, then looking into surgery will be the next logical step.
The timeline for his return is between 3-4 months. While this is the last thing fantasy fans (and the Yankees) want to see this close to Spring Training, lumbar discectomy has a success rate of over 90%. Even though Paxton won’t return to big league action until sometime between May and June, I would not expect this to have any lasting effects on his 2020 performance.