Sept. 13: Regarding Happ, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post writes that the Yankees had already been planning for him to head to New York to get some treatment — possibly a cortisone shot — for his ongoing biceps discomfort. Happ has made the organization aware of the issue but has deemed it to be manageable for the most part. The biceps issue hasn’t been particularly debilitating for Happ, who carries a 3.48 ERA with 35 punchouts over his past 31 innings (six starts).
6:34pm: Stop us if you’ve heard this before: The Yankees are dealing with a couple potential injuries. Catcher Gary Sanchez left the second game of the team’s doubleheader against the Tigers on Thursday with left groin tightness, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com tweets. And left-hander J.A. Happ, who started Game 1, is heading back to New York to get his biceps tendinitis checked out, per Erik Boland of Newsday. Happ’s issue isn’t one the Yankees are overly concerned about, according to manager Aaron Boone, but they nonetheless want to take a look at it.
Groin injuries often lead to weeks-long absences, which is obviously something the first-place Yankees don’t need as they gear up for a potential World Series run. It’s especially troubling for Sanchez considering he missed 16 games earlier in the season with a left groin strain. The 26-year-old spent time on the injured list because of that issue and has also missed time with a calf strain in 2019. When healthy, Sanchez has slashed .233/.318/.531 (118 wRC+) with 34 home runs in 440 plate appearances, making him one of the game’s most effective offensive catchers. The Yankees have gotten good production from backups Austin Romine and Kyle Higashioka this year, though.
Happ, 36, has hardly enjoyed a banner year to this point. He owns a lofty 5.07 ERA/5.38 FIP with 7.75 K/9 and 2.86 BB/9 over 151 innings. That’s not the type of production the Yankees expected Happ would provide when they re-signed him to a two-year, $34MM contract last offseason. Still, the Yankees have continually run Happ out there, in part because he’s one of the few legitimate starters they have. Happ, Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, Domingo German and CC Sabathia have been mainstays in the Yankees’ shaky rotation throughout the year. No one in that group has come close to providing ace-caliber production as the Yankees have gone without injured No. 1 starter Luis Severino all year. Severino is nearing his season debut as the Yankees prepare for the playoffs, though. However, it’s now up in the air whether they’ll have Happ at full strength over the next several weeks.