What the New York Yankees are doing to reduce injuries in 2020

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

During the 2019 season, the New York Yankees fell ill to the injury bug, suffering 39 different stints on the injured list. Subsequently, their now former strength and conditioning coach, Matt Kraus, who had been with the team for years, was fired and replaced.

New health coach, Eric Cressey, will take over for Kraus, installing a new system that should minimalize soft tissue injuries and reduce the overall frequency of damages.

Aside from the behemoth signing of Gerrit Cole, the overall of the backend health staff marks the second-largest change for the Yankees this offseason. Notably, Cressey becomes the Director of Player Health and Performance, while Steve Donohue will be moved to Head Athletic Trains and Director of Medical Services.

“Steve brings a wealth of information in terms of the flow of baseball, the travel schedule that dynamic. He knows all the players incredible well, but he is also very, very networked within the game,” Creesey said. “We can lean on Steve’s network really heavily so there’s a wealth of information we absolutely plan to to tap into that a ton and I’m really excited to work with him.”

The Yankees’ pitching coach position was also turned over, as Matt Blake, formerly of the Cleveland Indians, will feature in the role, previously held by Larry Rothschild. Reportedly, Blake’s influence was a significant reason the Yanks were able to lure Cole to the Bronx, as his modernized approach towards spin-rate and overall pitching represented the team’s progressive mentality.

Moving forward, we should hope to see fewer injuries, especially during the preseason. In 2019, Dellin Betances and Giancarlo Stanton, two significant players, missed the entire season virtually with individual injuries. This hurt the Yankees’ chances of reaching the World Series, and while a lack of run support ended up being the primary reason for their demise, Betances’ skill-set might have been a difference-maker in game six (bullpen game).