Brian Cashman Defends Yankees' Offseason Medical, Training Tweaks


After setting a major league record for sending an unthinkable number of players to the injured list last season, the Yankees shook up their medical and training staffs.

So far, however, this spring feels an awful lot like 2019. The Bombers have already lost James Paxton (back) for months and Luis Severino (elbow) for the year, and Aaron Judge (shoulder/pec) and Giancarlo Stanton (calf) are unlikely to be ready for opening day.

But general manager Brian Cashman insisted Tuesday that it's unfair for anyone to say the changes the Yankees have implemented aimed at improving their injury situation were a waste of time.

In an interview with WFAN's Marc Malusis and Maggie Gray, Cashman noted that the issues plaguing Paxton and Severino "are more orthopedic related from obviously back toward the end of last year that have nothing to do with the new strength-and-conditioning program or the new physical therapy side or all those areas."

He added that Stanton, who suffered a Grade 1 calf strain last week, arrived at camp in great shape, "but was it the best baseball shape?" And Judge reported to spring training complaining about his issue.

Cashman said he's confident the Yankees will see results from beefing up their medical provider team and increasing their player assessments.

"I do feel comfortable we're at a higher ground," he said. "It doesn't mean we're not going to be having injuries, it doesn't mean we're not going to be dealing with injuries, but I do feel like the process led us to some gaps that needed to be filled in, and those gaps have been filled in and will continue to be filled in."

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman speaks on his phone during a workout day before Game 1 of the AL Division Series at Yankees Stadium on Oct. 2, 2019.  Brad Penner/USA TODAY Images

Cashman was careful not to criticize Stanton's training regimen, saying that the hulking slugger "works his tail off." But the Yankees' GM added it's fair to question everything about a player's approach when he is repeatedly experiencing similar injuries, in Stanton's case to his lower legs.

"I think then, yeah, you have to react to try to understand how can we put ourselves in a better position that this doesn't have a repeat occurrence," Cashman said. "Sometimes it could be happenstance, but when it's consistent and happens more times than not, then you're dealing with something else. So what's the root cause of that, and how do you address it?"

To listen to Cashman's "Moose and Maggie" interview, click on the audio player above.