Is the Yankees’ bullpen strong enough to survive another injury plagued season?

Alexander Wilson
New York Yankees, Adam Ottavino
Oct 17, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) takes the ball from relief pitcher Adam Ottavino (0) during the eighth inning of game four of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series against the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees survived a problematic 2019 because of their bullpen, but what happened if injuries mount again?

In 2019, the Yankees dealt with some of the most consistent and nagging injuries, which hampered their ability to feature their starting pitching rotation and field position players.

The outfield was thrashed entirely by injury, forcing manager Aaron Boone to supplement the missing starters with alternatives like Mike Tauchman, Clint Frazier, Brett Gardner, and Cameron Maybin.

The starting rotation, though, is the most problematic of the bunch. The lack of a true ace significantly hurt the team in earlier innings, forcing them to utilize Chad Green as a specific opener.

Losing Luis Severino for the entire 2019 campaign, aside from a few games in the postseason, certainly hurt their overall record and performance. Luckily, the bullpen compensated immensely for the loss of Severino and several other starters. Jordan Montgomery is another arm that was unable to pitch as he recovered from Tommy John.

Arms like Chad green, Adam Ottavino, Zack Britton, Nestor Cortez Jr., Tommy Kahnle, and more were asked to pitch more frequently than anticipated. Ultimately, they were the reason the Yankees reached 103 wins and skipped over the wildcard round into a series against the Minnesota Twins.

The big question facing the Bronx Bombers this year is: will the bullpen be able to supplement the loss of Severino and more injuries again? The reality of the team is that they are unable to avoid picking up incremental ailments, as multiple pitchers have already suffered injuries before Grapefruit League play. James Paxton was forced into surgery to remove a cyst in his lower back, and Severino already succumbed to Tommy John surgery, which will keep him out of the entire 2020 campaign.

The only bullpen arms the Yankees lost this off-season were Cortez Jr. and Dellin Betances, indicating that they have plenty of talent remaining to hold the team over if injuries continue to mount. However, having additional ammo at the trade deadline to acquire a bullpen arm is one way the Yanks can help bolster the roster later on during the season.