Win a game, lose a player: It's no way for any team to get through a season.
Unfortunately for the New York Yankees, that's been their reality of late.
The Yankees won five of six games last week, but ran their list of shelved players to 13, with the longest and most impactful injury hitting on Saturday: An oblique tear for slugger Aaron Judge.
It may be July before Judge is back slugging baseballs cartoonish distances, perhaps the most severe test of the Yankees' depth yet.
Despite winning their first two meetings against Boston and three of four from Kansas City, the Yankees remain out of the top 10 in USA TODAY Sports' power rankings. That's more a reflection of their All-Star troupe of the infirm – Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Luis Severino, Dellin Betances, Gary Sanchez and Aaron Hicks among them.
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A 10-game road trip beginning Monday will test their depth and their resolve, even if the Angels, Giants and Diamondbacks don't present the most daunting obstacles on paper. They should regain Sanchez's services this week in Anaheim. Stanton (biceps) and Hicks (back) may not be far off once they return home.
A winning trip would certainly give the Yankees the feeling they can weather almost any storm. At the least, it will inch them 10 games closer to being whole again – a most elusive goal this season.
The Yankees started the season 11-10. (Photo: Wendell Cruz, USA TODAY Sports)
How our eight-person panel voted this week:
RANK (movement from last week)
1. Houston Astros (–)
- Best race they're involved in may be Bregman vs. Altuve for MVP.
2. Tampa Bay Rays (–)
- Even a brief Blake Snell absence has huge effect on pitching staff.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers (+5)
- With 10 homers, Joc Pederson nearly halfway to last year's total of 25.
4. Milwaukee Brewers (-1)
- 81 home runs should ensure another MVP for Christian Yelich.
t-5. Seattle Mariners (-1)
- Still feels like an aberration.
t-5. Philadelphia Phillies (+1)
- Four regulars – McCutchen, Harper, Hoskins, Franco – with OPS better than .900.
7. Minnesota Twins (+3)
- Have won seven of 10 on the road.
8. Cleveland Indians (+7)
- Bullpen may be team's undoing.
9. St. Louis Cardinals (+2)
- Paul DeJong has a hit in 18 of first 21 games.
10. Pittsburgh Pirates (+7)
- Injurious collision with Erik Gonzalez, Starling Marte gives way to Cole Tucker's inspiring debut.
11. New York Yankees (+2)
- Aaron Judge's extended absence (oblique) may be more harmful than previous dozen losses combined.
12. New York Mets (-6)
- In Queens, "MRIs" is short for "Mets' Ridiculous Injury Situations."
13. Atlanta Braves (-4)
- Josh Donaldson (four homers, .900 OPS) turning it on.
14. Washington Nationals (-2)
- Sean Doolittle on a brisk 81-game pace.
15. San Diego Padres (-10)
- Wil Myers (.898 OPS, 23 hits) looking reinvigorated.
16. Chicago Cubs (+2)
- Tyler Chatwood sporting 3.00 ERA.
17. Boston Red Sox (-1)
- And away they go?
18. Oakland Athletics (-4)
- Rotation magic elusive this year: Starters have 5.19 ERA.
19. Texas Rangers (+5)
- If they don't contend, may nonetheless rate as most annoying team to face.
20. Arizona Diamondbacks (+2)
- Luke Weaver providing early return on Goldschmidt trade.
21. Colorado Rockies (+4)
- Daniel Murphy already on rehab assignment.
22. Cincinnati Reds (+1)
- Take a bow, Derek Johnson: 3.16 ERA ranks second in NL.
23. Detroit Tigers (-4)
- 10-10 may not seem like much – then you remember 2018 squad was never at .500.
24. Toronto Blue Jays (+2)
- La Hora de Vladito is upon us.
25. Los Angeles Angels (-5)
- Cody Allen (6.14 ERA) has failed to record an out in past two outings.
26. San Francisco Giants (-5)
- Buster Posey's first home run comes 64 at-bats into season.
27. Chicago White Sox (+1)
- If Tim Anderson hits .418 all year, he can do as he pleases with the bat.
28. Baltimore Orioles (-1)
- Have lost nine of 10 home games.
29. Kansas City Royals (–)
- Punishing slate of games – Yankees, Rays, Astros, Phillies among them – begins with 3 Ls in New York.
30. Miami Marlins (–)
- Played the "fire the hitting coach" card really early.
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