From the Lohud blog, new hitting coach Alan Cockrell states that Brett Gardner played the entire 2015 season with a wrist injury.
Gardner’s offense began to significantly decline after the All-Star break. He was still getting on base at a pretty decent clip through the end of July, but Gardner hit just .203/.288/.290 from August 1 through the end of the year. Why would a hit by pitch in April cause a massive second-half decline? Cockrell said Gardner got injections to deal with the issue, but eventually he wasn’t allowed to get any more.
“I know he was getting some cortisone and some things like that to try to help him, and they did,” Cockrell said. “They helped him in spurts, but you can only get three of those in a year.”
That wrist injury, along with lingering trouble with Jacoby Ellsbury’s knee, might have been a factor in the Yankees’ struggles at the top of the order.
“It’s tough to hit if you don’t have legs,” Cockrell said. “And it’s tough to hit if you don’t have your hands. … I think it probably was a bigger thing than either of those guys let on.”
Also, the Yanks have let minor leaguer Kyle Roller go. Andrew Bailey is gone as a free agent. Chris Martin was released to go to a Japanese team.