Despite being completely decimated by injuries, the Yankees have managed to get contributions from everyone who has been asked to fill a void as they now find themselves atop the AL East. And it's all been a pleasure for owner Hal Steinbrenner to watch.
"Considering the adversity we've faced in the first two months of the season, it's phenomenal the job these guys have done," Steinbrenner told the Associated Press Friday at a Yankees extended spring training game before the big-league came back in the ninth to defeat the Rays, 4-3, and wrest control of the division.
There's been, and continues to be, a laundry list of Yankees injuries, many of them involving crucial players like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Luis Severino. No matter, for players like Domingo Germán and Gio Urshela have not just held the fort, they've excelled.
"Young guys are stepping up," Steinbrenner said. "They realize this is an opportunity that they might not otherwise have had and they're making the most of it."
Regardless of the team's circumstances, the Yankees are not going to take any risks with Judge, who is out with a left oblique strain.
"I talked to Aaron when I was there Tuesday, and he's right on schedule," Steinbrenner said. "But we don't push this process. We want to see them the second half of the year, and more than just the second half of the year. So we're going to make sure we do it right, we do it carefully and we don't push the process."
Even so, Judge told the New York Post that he'll try to return as soon as possible, knowing that he probably won't be 100 percent until after the season is over.
"You don't have time to get all the way there,'' Judge said. "It's the season. You've got to get back. Once I'm healthy enough to get back in games, I'll get back out there."