After consecutive playoff seasons that included a trip to the World Series in 2015, the New York Mets were supposed to be legitimate contenders in the National League. A young and deep pitching staff combined with some added power to the lineup had Mets fans salivating about the 2017 season, but they have been ravaged by injuries and are currently 10.5 games out of the Wild Card race.
For the Mets crosstown rival, the Yankees, this was supposed to be a rebuilding year where the young players began to take over and get experience. However, a 21-9 start to the season changed expectations and had fans believing the Baby Bombers could make the playoffs. Since that fast start, the Yankees have struggled, going 24-32 and falling 3.5 games behind the Red Sox. There have been several factors that have led to their bad play, but the most glaring reason has been a slew of injuries.
Currently, the Mets have ten players on the disabled list (DL) and the Yankees have six, but several players have recently become healthy enough to resume playing. Many of the injuries that the New York baseball teams have endured this year have been to prominent players, and it has inspired a combined “All Disabled List Team”.
The criteria to be on the team is simple: they had to be on the 40-man roster to start the season, and they had to have been listed on the DL at least once this season.
Here is the Yankees and Mets 2017 All Disabled List Team
Starting Pitcher: Noah Syndergaard (Mets)
2017 Stats: 1-2, 3.29 ERA
“Thor”, as Mets fans like to call the towering hard-throwing righty, emerged as the Ace of the staff for the 2017 season. Much was expected of the 24-year-old Syndergaard after a 2016 season where he went 14-9 with a 2.60 ERA, including 218 strikeouts in 183.2 innings. Noah had a decent beginning to his season, but after a start in April against the Nationals it was discovered that he had a Lat tear. On May 7th, he was placed on the 60-day DL and has not seen game action since. It is clear that the Mets miss their dynamic young pitcher, but he could be back before the end of the season, potentially giving them a big boost.
Closer: Aroldis Chapman (Yankees)
2017 Stats: 8 saves, 3.48 ERA
This was the most difficult decision on the team, as the Mets have also been without their all-star closer Jeurys Familia for the majority of the season, but in the end Chapman’s track record prevailed. After he signed the biggest relief pitcher deal in MLB History at five years and $86 million, Chapman was expected to anchor the Yankees bullpen. The flame-throwing lefty got off to a hot start, but began to show signs of a tired arm in May. On May 14, Chapman was placed on the DL because of inflammation in his throwing shoulder. The Yankees sorely missed Chapman as they saw their bullpen fall apart and their lead in the AL East slowly dwindle. Chapman was activated off the DL on July 8th and the Yankees are hoping he can propel them in the second half of the season.
Catcher: Gary Sanchez (Yankees)
2017 Stats: .276, 13 Home Runs, 40 RBI
After taking Major League Baseball by storm and hitting 20 home runs in 50 games last year, Sanchez was expected to be one of the most important bats in the Yankees lineup this season. His dream of a rookie season was followed by a tough start to his sophomore campaign. On April 9th, Sanchez was placed on the DL after straining his right biceps on a swing against the Orioles. The strain caused the Dominican Republic native to miss about a month. Sanchez rejoined the Yankees in early May and has played well enough to earn a spot on the All-Star Team.
First Base: Greg Bird (Yankees)
2017 Stats: .100, 1 Home Run, 3 RBI
Following the 2016 season, where he missed the entire year with a shoulder labrum tear, Bird was expected to fully take over the first base spot in the 2017 season. Yankee fans and the organization were excited about what Bird could provide after dominating Spring Training. Bird hit .451 with eight home runs and 15 RBI, but his success in Spring Training did not translate to the regular season. In 19 games, Bird was hitting .100 before being placed on the DL on May 3rd with a bruised right ankle. He was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 29th and there is real concern that the smooth-swinging lefty may be out for the year.
Second Base: Starling Castro (Yankees)
2017 Stats: .313, 12 Home Runs, 45 RBI
Castro had one of the best starts to his career this season, which had him up for All-Star consideration (EDITOR’S NOTE: He was selected, but is unable to participate). Becoming a mainstay in the middle of the Yankee order, Castro was a vital piece to the lineup, but on June 27 he was placed on the DL with a strained hamstring. Castro has been out since that point, but he could bolster the Yankees lineup as soon as the important series against the Red Sox coming off of the All-Star break.
Shortstop: Didi Gregorius (Yankees)
2017 Stats: .291, 10 Home Runs ,38 RBI
Didi began the season on the DL and missed the first month after injuring his throwing shoulder in the World Baseball Classic while representing the Netherlands. Gregorius rejoined the Yankees in early May and picked up right where he left off, providing elite defense at shortstop with pop and consistency at the plate. Didi will go down as one of the shrewdest deals that Yankee General Manager Brian Cashman has ever made.
Third Base: David Wright (Mets)
2017 Stats: N/A
There is serious fear that we may never see the Mets legend take the field again because of spinal stenosis. Wright started the season on the DL and there has been little to no information about whether he will be able to play this year. If this is the end, he will go down as one of the greatest Mets, and it could not have happened to a classier guy.
Left Field: Yoenis Cespedes
2017 Stats: .265, 9 Home Runs, 19 RBI
Cespedes can be a very frustrating player. He has all the talent in the world with incredible power and a rifle for a throwing arm, but he can never seem to stay fully healthy. The Cuban native was placed on the DL on May 28th with a strained hamstring and missed a little over a month. While he did come off the DL on June 10th, Cespedes has not made the difference that the Mets lineup needs. With a healthy Cespedes that is clicking on all cylinders, the Mets have a competent lineup. Without him, they have to rely too much on their young pitching staff.
Center Field: Jacoby Ellsbury (Yankees)
2017 Stats: .266, 4 Home Runs ,17 RBI
Ellsbury is often criticized for not living up to his massive seven-year, $153 million contract. While his production may not be worthy of that contract, Ellsbury is still an effective player for the Yankees. He gives the Yankees very good defensive play in center field while being a catalyst in the lineup. On May 25th, Ellsbury was placed on the DL with a concussion after running into a wall. Ellsbury, like many on this list, missed about a month. He rejoined the Yankees on June 26th and has played adequately since his return.
Right Field: Aaron Hicks (Yankees)
2017 Stats: .290, 10 Home Runs ,37 RBI
Hicks was a much maligned player in 2016 and deservedly so, as he hit .217 while being given ample opportunity. In 2017, Hicks seemed like a new man, as he was having his breakout season becoming a main cog in the Bronx Bombers’ lineup. Cashman and the Yankees saw talent in Hicks and he proved them right. Unfortunately, Hicks was placed on the DL on June 25th with a right oblique injury. The Yankees are eagerly awaiting his return after the All-Star break.
Designated Hitter: Matt Holliday (Yankees)
2017 Stats: .262, 15 Home Runs, 47 RBI
Holliday was signed in the offseason to give the young Yankee lineup a steadying veteran presence. He has done just that and more. Holliday has been a legitimate middle-of-the-order power hitter while helping to groom Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez. It is somewhat of a mystery in how it happened, but on June 28th, Holliday was placed on the DL with a viral infection. Holliday is expected to return to the Yankee lineup for the pivotal series with the Red Sox.
Honorable Mentions: Jeurys Familia, Matt Harvey, Neil Walker, Gleyber Torres
While the Yankees dominated the All Disabled List Team with eight players to the Mets three, an argument can be made that the Mets have been affected more by the injury bug. The Mets lost their number one pitcher, their closer, and best hitter for significant portions of the season. While you can argue who has been more hampered by missing players, the bottom line is both the Yankees and Mets have been devastated by injuries.