Yankees News/Rumors: 9 games a week? How will the Yankees adjust? A look at the lineup and more

William Parlee
New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole
Feb 24, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA;New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

9 Games a week, how will Yankee pitching adjust?

Until some type of baseball schedule is issued, the New York Yankees have more questions than answers.  MLB will try to get in as many games as possible in a drastically shortened season.  To do this, there will be very few days off, and doubleheaders every week are certain.  There could be as many as nine games played some weeks.

When the season starts, the Yankee pitching rotation will begin with the new Yankee ace Gerrit Cole, Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, J.A. Happ, and most likely Jordan Montgomery.  The most likely question mark to this rotation is if James Paxton that underwent back surgery, will be ready to start when we finally have baseball.  With each passing day, it looks more and more likely that he will be ready.

If Paxton is not ready and the schedule calls for more than seven games a week, the Yankees will use pitchers that might not have been used in a regular season.  The Yankees may see a six-man or at times a seven-man rotation that could include, Jonathan Loaisiga, Mike King, and Clarke Schmidt.  If there are injuries, Dievi Garcia, who is not major league ready, may be forced into action.  Another possibility if nine games are played, the Yankees may use and opener and then have the bullpen complete the game.

Opener games worked out quite well for the Yankees last season.  Most of them were started by all-purpose reliever Chad Green.  It was thought that he would go back to his regular role this season, but the coronavirus shortened season may have changed that.  Last year he opened 15 games in which the Yankees went 11-4.  If needed, the Yankees will not be reluctant to use Green in that format again.

The Yankees will be missing Luis Severino for the entire season due to his recent Tommy John surgery.  The Domingo German situation with his MLB suspension for breaking the domestic violence rule.  These missing days of baseball will not shorten his suspension that will still have to be served once baseball begins again.  If the season starts late in June or early July, he may find himself only pitching after Labor Day. His return will give the pitching staff some relief from an intensely played season.

What might the Yankee lineup look like?

In the old days of baseball, managers put together a lineup for opening day, and that lineup usually held up for most of the season.  Not so much anymore.  The two main reasons are injuries and analytics.  Managers often adjust the lineup daily.  Analytics match up players to certain pitchers.  The Yankees hope that injuries aren’t the main reason for a changing lineup.  Last year 30 players went on the IL for a total of 39 times, causing a constantly changing lineup that was seldom the same for two or more games.

We do know that DJ LeMahieu will again lead off the lineup followed by Aaron Judge and then Gleyber Torres.  Then the lineup becomes less clear with either Giancarlo Stanton of Miguel Andujar as DHs in the cleanup spot.  Gary Sanchez will follow.  If Stanton is the DH, Andujar will hit sixth.  The remainder of the lineup will be Brett Gardner, Luke Voit, and Gio Urshela batting ninth.  That leaves Tyler Wade, Mike Tauchman, and Mike Ford on the bench.

Yankees contribute to coronavirus relief

Many Yankees have stepped forward and contributed to coronavirus relief in some form.  Jordan Montgomery has contributed to several relief programs around his South Carolina beach community.  Ace Gerrit Cole and his wife have made “significant” donations through their Gerrit and Amy Cole Foundation to Direct Relief, an organization that works with public health and non-profit organizations to support health workers fighting the spread of COVID-19 with protective equipment and essential medical items. Aaron Judge has donated headphones to children in the Bronx area to help with their online classes.  These are just a few of the Yankees donating.

Others are getting creative with the “All in Challenge.” The challenge involved entering an auction and getting prizes from celebrities.  From movie stars to baseball players, some of the prizes are unique.  CC Sabathia will be bringing three people out to Las Vegas to eat at his favorite restaurant, get sideline passes to hang out with the Raiders in their new stadium.

Aaron Judge is offering field passes for batting practice with the Yankees, along with a dinner with him after the game.   Aaron Boone will provide the winner of his auction with tickets to a Yankees game, watch batting practice from field level, and his game-worn jersey. There are many other challenges, but 100% of the money raised through these auctions will go directly to Feeding America, Meals On Wheels, World Central Kitchen, and No Kid Hungry.