Specifically The Horse's right one, which was revealed to be slightly torn after his MRI yesterday. A-Rod was already scheduled to be out of the lineup last night as a result of the MRI and the now well documented pain he has been playing with in the knee, and now the amount of time he could stay out of the lineup becomes an even bigger, and much more important question.
He could continue to play through the injury, as he has already been doing and doing well. For all the talk about his dreaded homerless streak since early June, The Horse has continued to play solid all around baseball, racking up hits and walks at the plate and playing arguably the best defense we've seen him play since he transitioned to the hot corner. Obviously now we can assume that this meniscus tear is causing some, if not all, of the lack of power that we've seen from A-Rod, and he doesn't look comfortable running the bases, but he has played at a very high level with this injury already. And with the Yankees far from clinching a playoff spot at this point in the season, it goes without saying that the team is in a better position to when with him in the lineup, even if he doesn't hit home runs.
The other option is surgery, something that would likely put A-Rod on the shelf for at least a month. Without him in the lineup, the team could struggle even more than they already are this week, but down the road during the regular season stretch run it would be much more beneficial to have a 100% healthy Horse than one playing at whatever percentage he's currently at. And while the injury may or may not get any worse, it certainly isn't going to get better the more he plays on it. If A-Rod is at 75% right now, it's possible that continued wear and tear and him trying to compensate for the injury could have him at 50% heading into October.
Recent offensive struggles aside, the Yankees have been very good all year, both at the plate and on the mound. One would think that they would be able to hold down for the fort for 4-6 weeks without A-Rod, especially if Cano and Swish continue to swing hot bats and Teix can start to be more consistent. And with Bartolo Colon and Phil Hughes back in the rotation, and CC pitching like a man possessed, there is more than enough talent to get the job done. This is the same injury that CC pitched through last season, but he was only playing once every 5 days. Joe doesn't have that option to try and give A-Rod that much rest.
It's a tough decision either way, but if it were up to me, I would want to see A-Rod get completely healthy and be ready to go for the end of the regular season and the playoffs. We've already seen what a healthy Horse can do when he's locked in in the postseason, so whatever has to happen to be able to get him back to that health level is something I would be in favor of doing.
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