New York Yankees: Yankee starting lineup narrows by the day, find out why!

New York Yankees' Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.

For the New York Yankees, today was supposed to be the second game of the regular season at Baltimore Park at Camden Yards, after a day off yesterday.  Instead, all of baseball is in delay caused by the spread of the coronavirus.  With two weeks of spring training likely to still take place, and the unknown as to when the season might start, that starting lineup for the Yankees remains in flux.

Just two weeks ago, it was uncertain as to if Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, and Aaron Judge would be available to be inserted into the opening day lineup.  Since then, Giancarlo Stanton‘s grade one calf strain has healed.  Recently New York Yankee manager Aaron Boone has stated that is the season was to start today, Standon is ready to go.

“He’s pretty much over the hump,” Boone said. “He’s pretty much run aggressively and done the things necessary. If and when we begin spring training games, he would likely be ready to roll for that.”

Aaron Judge has a fractured rib and a healed partially collapsed lung.  The injury probably happened near the end of the previous season when he dove for a catch at Yankee Stadium.  The rib injury, which was initially diagnosed as shoulder soreness that later seemed to involve a chest muscle soreness, was finally after a second MRI diagnosed as the rib fracture.  Boone, when addressing the media on Judge’s progress, said:

“Aaron is still in the healing phase of that rib bone,” Boone said. “I think he’ll be re-evaluated in a few weeks as far as reimaging to see if there’s continued healing with that rib. But he’s been able to work out. Doing a lot of lower body stuff. Is able to do some upper body stuff, some overhead things, so he’s going in pretty much every day in Tampa there to continue his rehab.”

Pitcher Jame Paxton who was initially supposed to miss at least the first two months of the season is the most affected of the Yankee players by the season delay and now appears close to being ready by the time the season finally starts.  Paxton is continuing his work out and throwing program at his home in Wisconsin.  Aaron Boone has said the situation with pitchers is different than field players.  Even if Paxton is somewhat ready to start the season, he will still need more time to build up strength and will likely only pitch a few innings in their first starts.

Other New York Yankee players involved in injuries include Gary Sanchez with back soreness.  Shortly after being shut down with the soreness, Sanchez came down with the flu.  Little is known regarding how he is rehabbing from the back issue.  Yankee ace Luis Severino had Tommy John surgery about two weeks ago and will miss the entire 2020 season while recovering.  Another player Aaron Hicks who is also recovering from Tommy John from the previous season, will likely return to the field after Judge and Stanton.

This conclusion can be made; the original projected lineup is meaningless now with the unknown start of the season and the rehab progress of the above Yankee players.  When the final determination is made as to when the season will start, the Yankee lineup may be healthy and what manager Aaron Boone would have wanted it to be.

Commissioner Rob Manfred recently said regarding when the finish or mini spring training would ramp up, he said:

“My optimistic outlook is that at some point in May we’ll be gearing back up,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said on ESPN Wednesday. “We’ll have to make a determination depending on what the precise date is as to how much of a preparation period we need.”

During that min-spring training, observations will be made as to what that 26 man roster will look like and who will fill out the starting day lineup.  Questions remain if hopeful players like Clint Frazier, Tyler Wade, or Mike Ford will find a place on that opening day roster.  Whatever the case, the New York Yankees are in a better position due to the delay than if the season had started on time.