Hal Steinbrenner: Yankees never gave up through injury adversity
TAMPA, Fla. — New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner thinks manager Aaron Boone has the team ready for the postseason after an unprecedented run of injuries.
New York won the AL East for the first time since 2012 and will open the playoffs in the Division Series at home Oct. 4, likely against Minnesota.
“We faced a significant amount of adversity this year,” Steinbrenner said Thursday after watching a Florida instructional league game. “Boone and the coaching staff, and especially the players, they stayed positive throughout. They had each others’ backs and never gave up. It’s a winning mentality in that clubhouse. A long way to go, but we’re going in strong.”
New York has had 30 players make 39 stints on the injured list, losing Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Hicks, Gary Sánchez, Miguel Andújar, Edwin Encarnación, Luis Severino and Dellin Betances for extended periods. All but Betances and Hicks are expected to be available for the postseason.
“There never was a season injury-wise like this,” Steinbrenner said. “Nobody had ever seen it before. It just seemed to never end. We’d get a guy back, and another guy would go down. All kinds of injuries. Pretty much anything you could think of.”
New York has 102 wins heading into its final series this weekend at Texas.
“The team just stayed positive and somebody else came up to fill in a void and guys took advantage of opportunities that they knew they might otherwise not have,” Steinbrenner said. “You couldn’t ask for more. It’s a tremendous story, but we’ve got to see it through.”
The Yankees have 299 home runs, and a record 14 players have hit 10 or more.
“It’s a pretty fearsome lineup,” Steinbrenner said. “We’ve got some good starters and, of course, we have a great bullpen. We’ve got as good a chance as anybody.”