We all know that the New York Yankees have gone through a couple of years of far too many injuries affecting regular players playing time. Although the health situation going into spring training, which starts in just a few days if much rosier than last year, it is not reasonable to assume it will remain that way. The simple fact is that injuries are a permanent part of the game that can’t be avoided team-wide.
These injuries lead to the use of backup pitchers and backup players that sit on the bench or have to be called up from the minor league to be used short term or even long term. We all know that, but this season even without any long-term injuries, the backup players will take on an even more important role that could be the difference in success or the season’s failure. The New York Yankees may be in a better place than some teams because of their depth in the pen and on the bench.
The big problem for manager Aaron Boone this season will be dealing with using players efficiently but at the same time saving them for a postseason run. That is something that is always dealt with, but this season is unique. Pitchers and the lineup will play 162 games after only playing 60 games last season. No matter how much a player works out in the offseason or pushes himself in spring training, moving to play nearly three times as many games this season will be a strain on all involved.
So today, we look at the Yankee depth. As it appears now, ace Gerrit Cole will lead off the rotation, followed by Corey Kluber, Jameson Taillon, Jordan Montgomery, and a fifth starter yet to be determined. The Yankees have several arms they could use, including Deivi Garcia, who made his Major League debut last season, Jonathan Loaisiga, Clarke Schmidt, Michael King, and of course Domingo German, who was 18-4 in a shortened 2019 season. So the backups are pretty good, but the same may not true of the bullpen.
The Yankees this year are minus Tommy Kahnle, Adam Ottavino, Jonathan Holder, and Ben Heller. They did make a smart move hiring Darren O’Day, one of the best relievers out there. He had a tiny ERA of just 1.10 last season. The Yankees have also brought back a few former Yankees to shore up the middle innings. Adam Warren and Nestor Cortes Jr. are back with the team, but the Yankees still need at least another quality arm out of the pen.
EmpireSportsMedia.com’s Nathan Solomon reports, the New York Yankees are in â€œserious talksâ€ with LHP Justin Wilson. The 33-year-old is one of the few relief arms still available on the market and one of the most desired ones. Wilson spent the past two seasons with the New York Mets and had a one-year stint with the Yankees in 2015. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 5th round of the 2008 MLB draft and debuted with the team in 2012.
Part 2 of this article will speak to the bench players and minor leaguers that will back up the regular lineup.