For the New York Yankees and the other 29 MLB teams, this has been an unusual baseball season for sure. Half of the season is upon us, and almost everything imaginable has happened.Â We’ve seen a broken up spring training months apart and an imposed 60 game season, all caused by the coronavirus.
The changes didn’t stop there either.Â Several teams have been infected by the virus and have had games, and even the entire series postponed. The Miami Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies and the St. Louis Cardinals have been most affected. The Cards lost almost two weeks of play. All of these schedule changes have presented a challenge for MLB and the teams themselves.
The New York Yankees have probably been the least affected, but still have had games rescheduled.Â The biggest period of missed games happened just this past weekend, when the Yankees entire series with the Mets was postponed, when a Mets player and crew member both tested positive for the virus, while in Miami. That resulted in the Yankees having four idle days. The Yankees did work out at the stadium on Saturday and Sunday.
This coming week may be more of a challenge than the Yankees or Mets might have imagined.Â For the Yankees, they are reeling from two weeks of injuries resulting in injuries to ten players.Â The only player that will be coming off that list this week is slugger Aaron Judge who has healed from a calf injury.Â The Yankees will be happy to have him activated on Tuesday when they face the Atlanta Braves, at Truist Field. That will be a short two-game series.
After the Braves series, the New York Yankees will travel back to Yankee Stadium for a day off on Thursday, and then another series with the Mets, this time at the Stadium.Â The series is scheduled as an evening game on Friday and a matinee game on both Saturday and Sunday, however, that series could turn out to be five games in just three days, with doubleheaders possibly on both weekend days.Â With the Yankees already player thin,Â the shuttle between the Stadium and Scranton will surely be active.
After the workout on Sunday New York Yankee manager Aaron Boone discussed the possibility of the two doubleheaders.
â€œIâ€™m hearing a lot of speculationâ€¦ that we could end up having a couple of doubleheaders next weekend,â€ Boone said Sunday after his team worked out at the Stadium. â€œThereâ€™s a couple of mutual off days that come into play. Obviously with [Monday] being out of the equation, that would have been nice to be able to get one or even two of these games in tomorrow, but we understand.Weâ€™re getting ready to head into a challenging stretch whatever it is, but I think thereâ€™s a possibility that there could at least be one, if not two doubleheaders potentially next weekend.â€
So, looking at the schedule going forward, the Yankees have three games to make up with the Mets and one with the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles make up date is September 4th, in Baltimore.Â There are only two dates that both the Yankees and Mets have days off, they are September 3rd and 14th.Â If those games are played, the Yankees would play 18 games in just 17 days.
Dealing with all this craziness, the Yankees still have to deal with all the injuries complicated by doubleheaders, causing quite a bit of strain on the bench and the pitching staff.Â The Yankees are already missing Luis Severino, Domingo German, James Paxton. Paxton is only expected to get in one or two games before the postseason, the other two are out for the season.
Aaron Judge has suggested in an interview on Sunday that he is excited and happy to be back on Tuesday.Â He hopes to start where he left off, and said when asked about the doubleheaders, he has this to say:
â€œIf youâ€™re swinging the bat well, doubleheaders are the best thing to a ballplayer. â€¦ Iâ€™m looking forward first to getting through the games in Atlanta and then back home against the Mets.â€
The 2020 baseball season will go down in history as the strangest year of baseball ever played.Â There is now less than five weeks remaining in the season, so the wackiness may not be over.