New York Yankees: Pitchers and catchers set up house, Aaron Boone and more

William Parlee
New York Yankees, Aaron Boone
Feb 16, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

For the New York Yankees, today is the day that pitchers and catchers are supposed to arrive at the George M. Steinbrenner Training facility in Tampa, Florida. Some have already arrived and set up house in the area around the Stadium. It marks the first day of baseball in a still infected coronavirus environment. This will be a season like no other, but far from the bizarre season that fans saw last year. Many normal baseball rules will return to 2019 while still dealing with health protocols.

Forget all the rules and that stuff, the major change this season is its length. Last season fans saw only 60 games, this year is planned to be different. Fans and players will see 162 games, almost three times as many games. Although fans and players alike will be happy to see and play that many games, it presents bigger challenges than most realize. The fact is you don’t go from 60 to 162 games seamlessly.

Last year you had spring training that was cut off early, then a two-month gap before the second spring training (summer camp). That was followed by a regular-season of just 60 games. Forget the pitchers that only pitched one inning or even no innings, even pitchers who got ten starts last season are going to be expected to start 30 games. Folks it just isn’t going to happen for most. This will be a season of being careful with everyone, rest, days off, in order to keep players someone fresh for a postseason run. It will be a challenge.



Aaron Boone to address fans today

Team manager Aaron Boone just a day before the pitchers and catchers have their first workout, and five days before all the players report, will address fans and the media today. It’s difficult to know exactly what he will have to say. You can be sure it will be positive about the upcoming season, but he will also address some of the challenges ahead.

He will undoubtedly speak to the challenges ahead for the pitching rotation and how to keep pitchers fresh by limited innings while adjusting to the strain of a 162 games season. It will be a bigger challenge for the Yankees because only Gerrit Cole pitched only 91 innings last season, that’s about a third of what he will be expected to pitch this season. Boone hopes he can hold up as he is one of the most durable pitchers in the game. As far as Corey Kluber, Jameson Taillon, and Domingo German are concerned between the three of them they only pitched in a single inning last year. Boone will have to be really careful with them while getting games pitched. Luckily for Boone, the Yankees do have many arms to fill in including a return of Luis Severino mid-season.

He will likely spend some time discussing the bullpen that will also have a far different look than last season. He also isn’t going to want to burn them out before the postseason. With Tommy Kahnle and Adam Ottavino gone from the group. Fans will likely see Adam Warren and Nestor Cortes jr. in the mix with Luis Cessa and Johnathan Loaisiga in relief early. That will be followed by Chad Green, Daren O’Day, and Justin Wilson setting up for Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman. Also, different this season is don’t expect Boone to automatically go to Chapman to close games.

He most certainly will talk about the lineup and the hopes for bounce-back seasons from Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, and others. He will probably address the hope of fewer injuries this season. He may speak about the powerhouse of Aaron Judge, Luke Voit, and Giancarlo Stanton who came on strong in the postseason for the New York Yankees. He might also address how Robinson Chirinos will augment the catching staff. EmpireSportsMedia.com will fully cover the address.

Will Boone be the 2022 Yankee manager?

The quick answer is yes! However, there are questions to his leadership that will undoubtedly be discussed before signing him on for another contract. This is the last season of his four-year contract with the New York Yankees. Boone has stood up to the challenges of unprecedented injures bringing the Yankees into the postseason every year of his tenure. The problem is that his management has failed each year to get into the World Series.

In 2018, his first year as management he beat the Oakland Athletics in the Wild Card but then only won one game against the Boston Red Sox losing in the ALDS. In 2019 he did a bit better taking the team to the ALCS but again lost, this time to the Houston Astros. In 2020 he lost the AL East but advanced to the Wild Card with the Cleveland Indians who he made quick work of, sweeping them two games. Then in the ALDS he again fell short losing to the AL East winners, Tampa Bay Rays.

The question for the Yankees will be are they satisfied with the New York Yankees reaching the postseason, but exiting early without a long-awaited 28th World Championship. They will debate if the reason for their losses were because of the pitchers and hitters, the injuries, or was it his lack of leadership that led up to those losses.