When Gary Sheffield jammed his thumb last week in an exhibition game against the Blue Jays, he didn't think much of it. But yesterday, there was cause for concern, and Sheffield will be in New York today visting a hand specialist to determine whether or not he'll need surgery. Brian Cashman and George Steinbrenner are worried, though Sheffield still thinks he'll be OK. However, if he does go under the knife, he could miss between two and three months.
What does this mean? Will Kenny Lofton be the Yankees new right fielder? I'm going to wait and see what today gives before I get too excited one way or another. (Hey Will, the new meds must be working.) Aaron Gleeman, for one, doesn't think that Yankee fans need to panic:
New York signed Travis Lee and Kenny Lofton this off-season and went into spring training with a ton of depth among outfielders and first basemen. Luckily for them, the two players who have gone down with injuries are both outfielders, meaning they can simply plug in their depth and keep on chugging along toward 100 wins.
As long as Sheffield is back for October, the Yankees will be just fine. That's the beauty of a Mo Vaughn-sized payroll. They have the ability to not only pay Sheffield $13 million a year, they can also pay Lee and Lofton about $5.5 million to be role players and insurance policies.