With Matt Holliday sitting on the bench over the weekend due to a stiff neck following three strike outs Friday, it was another hit to a Yankees lineup riddled with nagging injuries.
Thus far in the young season, Didi Gregorius has yet to play, Gary Sanchez has barely played and Greg Bird has also missed a number of games.
Nevertheless, New York continues winning as the Yankees won for the eighth straight time Monday using a patchwork lineup to beat the Chicago White Sox 7-4 at in the Bronx.
Holliday was back in the lineup and smacked a three-run home run, while Starlin Castro had three hits, helping rookie southpaw Jordan Montgomery win his first major league game.
If the first couple of weeks are any indication, the Yankees could be a team to reckon with when their top players return from injury.
The current eight-game winning streak has helped the Yankees to a 9-4 record keeping them on pace with Baltimore who is 8-3 and in first place in the American League East.
On Monday, the Yankees started Pete Kozma at short, Austin Romine at catcher, and Chris Carter at first. All three considered backup reserves that would also see minor league action during the season.
New York’s team ERA entering Monday is 2.14 during its current winning streak. Montgomery, who was a long shot to nail down a spot in the Yankees rotation, threw six innings of shutout baseball before Yolmer Sanchez hit a three-run home run off him in the seventh
Yankees manager Joe Girardi has had to adjust the lineup so much that Castro has hit in the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth spots over just the last nine games.
That does not appear to have affected his play as he leads New York in total bases with 28.
At this time, the Yankees are far better off this season than last as last year they started 8-16 and were in a comeback mode very early.
This year the season started with four losses in the first five games and injuries to their starting shortstop and catcher making things even worse, and it appeared if disaster was just around the bend.
However, the team has turned its slow start around and with its current eight-game winning streak could become one of the teams to beat in what is considered a very competitive AL East.