The New York Yankees are one of the favorites for the World Series during this unconventional 60-game year and for good reason. They have one of the strongest and most intimidating lineups in all of Major League Baseball and with the addition of superstar Gerrit Cole to the rotation, they’re on a whole different level than last season.
Despite all the positive things to be excited about this season, there are some issues the Yankees will need to have a grip on if they want that end goal: bringing home the 28th Commissioner’s Trophy to the Bronx once again.
This is one of the most obvious ones, as last season was a nightmare of injuries. Even though the Yankees still found success even when they have several of their key players on the Injured List, it would be extremely difficult to repeat that. It’s crucial that sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton remain healthy throughout the shortened season. Other important players such as Gary Sanchez, Luke Voit, and Aaron Hicks who have had injury problems throughout their career need to stay healthy as long as the club wants another successful season.
During a normal 162-game season, going on the IL for 14 days isn’t ideal, but it wasn’t the end of the world. During these new circumstances with only 60 games, the team can’t afford to have key players sit out for two weeks.
Back end of starting rotation
The addition of Gerrit Cole made the Yankees’ pitching rotation significantly better, no doubt. However, without Luis Severino and Domingo German, the back end of the rotation is a little questionable. The projected rotation is as follows: Gerrit Cole, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, JA Happ, Jordan Montgomery, and Jonathan Loaisiga. Happ, Montgomery, and Loaisiga are all guys that can either dominate for seven innings or be pulled in the fourth.
The reason why I say these three guys are questionable is that you never know what’re you’re going to get when they take the mound. Happ looked great during the preseason games, however, struggled last season with keeping the ball in the park. Montgomery was fantastic prior to Tommy John surgery, and a pitcher could be completely different after having a big surgery like that. Loaisiga has some nasty stuff but sometimes struggles to command the zone.
The New York Yankees rotation will interesting to watch this season. I think the “opener” strategy” that was used last season will probably be used again this season, as it was deemed highly effective. The Yankee bullpen remains one of the league’s best so they can utilize that with little concern.
Can these guys repeat it?
There were several players on the Yankees last season that had what you can call their “breakout” seasons. Gio Urshela, Mike Tauchman, Mike Ford all busted onto the scene last year when they proved they were valuable to the team’s success. It’ll be fun and interesting to watch if these guys can repeat their success from last season. It’s possible that last year was just a career year for them, however, I think that’s unlikely. I believe these players are truly able to compete with some of the league’s best and Yankee fans should expect it again this year.