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It’s not every day that something truly shocking happens in baseball. There are thousands of games each year, each pitch photographed and videotaped and tracked on radar to the millimeter and microsecond, so there is really very little new under the sun. But what’s happened to the Yankees over the first three weeks of the season is truly shocking. This past weekend, right fielder Aaron Judge went on the IL with a strained oblique muscle—and I know this isn’t the point, but when a guy as big as Judge pulls a muscle, it has to register on the Richter scale—which gives the Yankees the following injury list, according to Baseball-Reference.
That’s 13 players long, which is a huge number of players to put on the injured list at one time, if not unprecedented. They range from players whose absence has been expected since last season, like Montgomery, to others like Hicks and Severino, for whom minor preseason injuries turned into extended layoffs. My Ringer colleague Ben Lindbergh, using data obtained from Baseball Injury Consultants, discovered that the most players one team has had on the IL at one time since 2002—the start of BIC’s IL records—was 16. That distinction is shared by the Dodgers and Athletics in mid-August 2016, and the Rangers in July 2014.
List - Teams - Players - IL - Time
The list of teams with at least 13 players on the IL at one time is an interesting mix of playoff clubs, underachievers, and bottom-feeders who never had a chance. The 2016 Dodgers went to the NLCS, while the 2008 Mets blew a lead late in the season and the 2012 Red Sox were coached by Bobby Valentine during his one horrific year in Boston. But the 2004 Diamondbacks lost 111 games despite getting an 8.4 bWAR season from Randy Johnson.
The Yankees stand out for two reasons....
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