The First Crack in the Armor

Word today out of Yankee camp is that Phil Hughes has a bulging disc in his upper back. The Yankees seem to think he will miss only two weeks. I’m not so sure.

Back discs are strange things. I’ve see a number of people go through bulging discs. One had surgery, one had shots, one had only physical rehabilitation. The one thing all three of them had in common was that it took a lot longer than two weeks for them to get back to normal. We can look into recent Yankee history and see that Alfredo Aceves never made it off the DL when he came down with a bulging disc in May of 2010. (BTW- I guess we know why the Yankees DFA’ed Aceves, he’s quite crazy.)

Now, none of this means that Hughes is destined to miss the season or anything so dire, but it exposes the Yankees’ lack of depth. If Ivan Nova returns to his early-2012 form and David Phelps pitches like he did last year, the Yankees could survive the loss of Hughes. But what happens if a second starter goes down? And even more concerning, what happens if a position player goes down?