The Yankees announced today that outfielder Willie Calhoun has been placed on the 10-day injured due to a left quad strain. Infielder/outfielder Oswaldo Cabrera was recalled in the corresponding move.
Calhoun, 28, signed a minor league deal with the Yankees this winter and had his contract selected just over a week into the season. Since then, he’s received 149 plate appearances in 44 games. He’s kept his strikeout rate to a 13.4% level while walking at a 9.4% clip. His .239/.309/.403 batting line amounts to a wRC+ of 96, indicating he’s been 4% worse than the league average hitter.
That might not sound like a significant loss, but it actually could be for the scuffling Yankees. They have dealt with injuries to a number of players, including superstar Aaron Judge, who has been out of action for almost three weeks now. Several other players have also dealt with their own injuries or underperformance. Aside from Judge, the only other Yankees to have produced a higher wRC+ than Calhoun in more plate appearances are Anthony Rizzo and Gleyber Torres. The team’s collective wRC+ of 96 is right in line with Calhoun’s and places them 19th out of the 30 clubs in the league.
The Yankees haven’t yet made any announcements about how long they expect Calhoun to be out, but it seems there’s a decent chance it won’t be a minimum stint of 10 days. The outfielder told Chris Kirschner of The Athletic that he felt his quad “pop” while running to first base in yesterday’s game. He’s going for an MRI today and will be receiving a platelet-rich plasma injection in the coming days. There should be more specificity forthcoming but it seems the issue is potentially significant.
As for Judge, manager Aaron Boone provided an update today to members of the media, including Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. Judge made an excellent catch at Dodger Stadium on June 3, crashing into the right field bullpen gate and hitting his foot on the concrete pad beneath. He was diagnosed with a bruise and ligament sprain in his right big toe and is coming up on three weeks of missed time. Boone says Judge has now advanced to pool/balance/strength work and could resume throwing and light hitting in the coming days. That seems to be encouraging progress but there’s still not much clarity on his timeline.
He’s following up his MVP campaign with yet another excellent performance here in 2023, having hit .291/.404/.674 for a wRC+ of 189. However, that production has come in just 49 games since he missed time earlier with a hip strain and now this toe issue. As mentioned, the club’s offense has been subpar overall this year but they are still in the postseason hunt. They currently sport a 41-33 record, enough for them to currently be in possession of a Wild Card spot, though each of the Astros, Angels and Blue Jays are within one game in the standings.