New York Yankees head to Buffalo, enter quarantine

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, Giancarlo Stanton

On Monday, the New York Yankees begin a crucial four-game set against the Toronto Blue Jays in Buffalo. The team is looking to run down the Rays in the final week of the season in attempt to win the AL East. The Yankees sit 3.5 games back with seven games left to play, while the Rays have just six.

Although the Yankees didn’t win the series finale against the Boston Red Sox on Sunday, they were able to clinch a postseason spot for the fourth straight season with a Mariners loss to the Padres.

With the MLB postseason happening in a “bubble”, the Yankees are being forced to quarantine in hotels starting a week before the postseason. That means that the quarantine officially starts for the team in their Buffalo hotel, and the team will remain in hotels until their postseason elimination. Even when they are in New York for the final series of the regular season this weekend, they must quarantine in a hotel. Team members can only go to the ballpark from the hotel.

If the postseason were to begin today, the Yankees would be the five seed, and would play the Minnesota Twins in the wild-card round. The newly added round will be a three game series, with all games being played at the highest seed. The ALDS will be hosted at Dodger Stadium and Petco Park in California, with the ALCS being hosted at Petco Park. The first three series will be played with no off-days.

The World Series will be played at Globe Life Field in Arlington, the Rangers home field. Unlike the other series, the Fall Classic will have the traditional 2-3-2 format with off-days. The Rangers won’t make the postseason, confirming that all series will be played at a neutral field.

Although the postseason will look different in 2020, the Yankees are getting healthy and ready to chase a 28th ring.

New York Yankees: Gary Sanchez heating up at just the right time

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez

One of the New York Yankees biggest storylines of the 2020 season was the struggles of Gary Sanchez. He looked absolutely lost most days and was even benched at times.

But suddenly, Sanchez has finally hit his stride. Just a week and a half away from the postseason, the Yankees are starting to see the Gary Sanchez that they need.

Sanchez has just 21 hits on the season, but seven of which came just this past week. He’s bat .292 with three home runs and nine runs batted in this week. On Friday, he hit a two-out, game-tying home run in the ninth inning against the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees would go on to win the game in extras, extending their win-streak to nine games.

Another big stat over the past week is a 1.162 OPS for him, meaning he’s getting on base and driving in runs. Over a third of his RBIs have been within the last week as well.

Things are looking up for the New York Yankees. Entering last Saturday, Sanchez entered with a .125 batting average, and has since raised it by over 30 points. Not just that, but the team is healthy again, making Sanchez feel more comfortable in the lineup. In a weeks span, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gio Urshela have all returned from injury.

And as the team has gotten healthier, the team’s gotten hotter. Just two weeks ago, it wasn’t even certain if the Yankees would make the postseason. They were trending downwards and were not healthy. But now, the team’s magic number is down to just two, meaning they can clinch as early as Saturday night.

With a healthy squad and a hot Gary Sanchez, the New York Yankees are looking very dangerous as the postseason nears.

New York Yankees dominate Orioles in weekend sweep

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

The New York Yankees got a much needed sweep against the Baltimore Orioles this past weekend, finally looking like the team of old. The Orioles managed to put up just three runs all weekend against the Yankees overpowered pitching.

In the first game of a doubleheader on Friday, Gerrit Cole threw undoubetedly his best game as a member of the Yankees. He pitched a seven-inning complete-game shutout, allowing just two hits. The Yankees scored six runs off nine hits, led by Brett Gardner and Kyle Higashioka, each driving in a pair of runs.

Game two of the doubleheader saw the Yankees come out with even stronger offense. The team scored 10 runs, mainly courtesy of Luke Voit, the man responsible for six of the runs. Masahiro Tanaka pitched five innings of one-run ball, as the Yankees swept the doubleheader on the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack. The team sported slick NYPD and FDNY hats during the games.

Saturday’s game took an extra inning, but Luke Voit hit a walk-off sacrifice fly to beat the Orioles for the third time in a row. Clint Frazier was responsible for the other Yankee run, the team winning 2-1.

In Sunday’s finale, Tyler Wade hit a solo home-run early and Gleyber Torres hit a two-run, pinch-hit double to finish off the Orioles 3-1. JA Happ had the ball for the Yankees, pitching five innings of one-run ball. It was Happ’s fourth time in his last five outings with two or less runs allowed.

The Yankees are looking to build off the sweep to track down the Rays for the AL East. They are still a half game behind the Blue Jays for second place, but the two teams meet this week for a crucial three-game set in the Bronx.

New York Yankees currently sitting on postseason bubble with four weeks left

New York Yankees, Giancarlo Stanton

So far, the 2020 MLB season has not been a memorable one for the New York Yankees. They’ve dealt with an absurd number of injuries, with DJ LeMahieu, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Tommy Kahnle, and now Gio Urshela spending time on the IL.

When players have gone down in previous years, the team has always had the “next man up” mentality. However, that isn’t working in 2020 as the Yankees have lost 11 of their last 16 games.

Right now, they are tied for second in the AL East with the Toronto Blue Jays and are on the postseason bubble. This season, the top two teams in each division get into the postseason, as well as the top two teams that are in third place or worse in each league.

If the postseason were to begin today, the Yankees would either have the sixth or eighth seed in the AL, dependent on tiebreakers. If they won the tiebreaker, they would be sixth but eighth if they lost it. The team still has 10 games left to play against the Blue Jays.

Right now, it’s the Minnesota Twins that would have the seventh seed in the AL. They are in third place, but just a half a game back of the White Sox along with the Indians in the central division.

Oakland leads the west, with the Astros two games back of them. In third place is the Mariners, seven and a half games back with postseason aspirations running low.

Right now, the Yankees need to turn things around if they want to make a run this year. If any other team passes the Yankees in the American League except for the Blue Jays, the team will fall out of the postseason picture.

Should the New York Yankees finally give up on Tyler Wade?

New York Yankees, Tyler Wade

Tyler Wade is in his fourth season as a member of the New York Yankees, and he’s once again struggling. He’s just 7-of-43 with a home run, three RBIs, and a .539 OPS in 2020.

Wade struggling for the Yankees isn’t something out of the ordinary. 2019 was the only season that he’s hit above .200 (.245), and his career average is just a sub-par .192. In this day and age, players can still be productive even with a low average, but that isn’t the case with Wade. He’s a contact hitter and his game relies on getting base hits. Wade just doesn’t have enough power to stay productive. He has just four home runs and 21 RBIs.

Well, why do the Yankees keep bringing him back? Wade is one of the fastest players in the league and can steal bases. He has 10 career stolen bases and has been caught just once. The lefty-hitting infielder is also a slightly above average defender, as he has two defensive runs saved in 2020.

Is it time the Yankees give up on Wade? He’s never panned out the way the team has hoped, and they’ve given him plenty of opportunities. Maybe a change of scenery for Wade would be the best thing for him, a way to possibly jump-start his career. Plus, no player is happy spending so much time in AAA, as that’s where Wade spends more time at than the big-leagues. He has just over a year of service time even though this is his fourth year in the majors.

The Yankees also have Thairo Estrada to take the place of Wade if he gets dealt in the offseason. Estrada has been much better than Wade, sporting a .244 career average.

Should the Yankees finally bite the bullet and give up on Tyler Wade?

 

The New York Yankees are in a weird position with Miguel Andujar

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

After missing most of the 2019 season due to injury, the New York Yankees had high aspirations for Miguel Andujar in 2020. Unfortunately for them, Andujar’s struggled and have placed the team in a weird place with him.

When Andujar went down in 2019 after an impressive 2018 season, Gio Urshela took his spot and couldn’t have been better. Urshela bat .314 with an OPS near .900, driving in 74 batters and hitting 21 bombs. Although he hasn’t been quite as dominant in 2020 as 2019, he’s been solid with a .250 average, an .833 OPS and 22 runs batted in already.

Andujar on the other hand, is just 4-for-31 and has yet to collect an extra-base hit. He’s not on the major league team and is training at the alternate site in Scranton. Urshela has proven to be the third-baseman of the future, and the team has other guys like Tyler Wade, Thairo Estrada, and even DJ LeMahieu who can play third.

So, what do the Yankees do with Andujar? The trade deadline has come and gone, and they will have to wait for the offseason if they want to make a move. Do they trade him? Do they keep him and try to develop his outfield skills more? His defense has continued to struggle at both third and the outfield while Urshela has defended well.

The Yankees could be looking to make a few moves this winter, such as finding a potential replacement for the injured Tommy Kahnle, or for more prospects. Could Andujar possibly be dealt? We’ve seen a reluctance from Brian Cashman to trade young talent in the past, but will he finally pull the plug this winter?

Only time will tell, but the Yankees need Miguel Andujar to perform better if given another opportunity in 2020.

New York Yankees return to action on Tuesday with seven straight interleague games

Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees

After a weekend off due to the Mets coming down with multiple coronavirus cases, the New York Yankees will be returning to action on Tuesday where seven straight interleague games face them. Returning with the Yankees will be Aaron Judge, who was on the IL with a calf strain. He wound up only missing a week of games.

The Bronx Bombers will go down to Atlanta to play a two game set with the Braves on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Yankees swept the Braves in a two game set at home on August 11th and 12th. They will look to do the same this week.

Although the team has lost their last three games, odds seem to be in the favor of the visitors. The Yankees have Gerrit Cole on the hill on Tuesday, with Masahiro Tanaka taking the ball on Wednesday.

Thursday will actually be another off-day for the Yankees, before heading home to Yankee Stadium where a five game set in three days with the Mets awaits.

Friday and Sunday will feature seven-inning doubleheaders, with the Yankees considered the home team for one game each day. Saturday will be a regularly scheduled nine-inning game with the Yankees as the home team.

The five game set over the weekend will make-up two of the three postponed games against the Mets. The third will be made up on September third, a date where both teams originally had scheduled off-days. After they play the Mets on September third, the Yankees won’t play a NL opponent until the end of the season. They conclude the season with a three-game set against the Marlins in New York.

After a few days rest, the Yankees are ready to hit the road again and resume the chase for 28.

What might the New York Yankees injury-plagued lineup look like?

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

Over the past week and a half, the New York Yankees have undergone some serious roster turnover. They’ve lost some of their best players, making their lineup look almost like a AAA team.

One of the teams’ most important players, Aaron Judge, went on the IL with a minor calf strain on 8/14. He’s set to return to the lineup the next time the Yankees play. The team had a weekend series with the Mets canceled due to the Mets having positive coronavirus tests, but there’s still hope of a makeup doubleheader on Monday, according to reports.

However, Judge returning is just one small part of the missing puzzle. With guys like DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, and Giancarlo Stanton still out; there’s still some major roster gaps. With Judge coming back, here’s what the Yankee order could look like with him inserted.

  1. Aaron Hicks (DH)- A speedy switch hitter with a good glove and a reliable option as the back-up leadoff hitter.
  2. Aaron Judge (RF)- Do we really need much explanation? The Judge will return to his normal spot.
  3. Luke Voit (1B)- The powerful righty already has 10 bombs and is on track for a career season.
  4. Gio Urshela (3B)- A reliable option with good defense and a well-rounded bat.
  5. Gary Sanchez (C)- Although off to a rough start, Sanchez has hit a few recent bombs and appears to be on the right track.
  6. Clint Frazier (LF)- Since rejoining the team, Frazier has been on fire, driving in runs.
  7. Mike Tauchman (CF)- A speedy outfielder with a good glove and a solid bat.
  8. Thairo Estrada (2B)- A well rounded middle-infielder that does everything pretty well.
  9. Tyler Wade (SS)- One of the fastest players in the league, Wade can steal bags and has unlimited range.

The Yankees certainly don’t have a bad lineup when injury-infested, but it’s not quite the lineup the team is envisioning. After losing three straight at home, the Yankees are ready to bounce-back with a healthy Aaron Judge back.

The New York Yankees must flex their depth once again

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

Here we go again. For the third straight season, the New York Yankees must deal with some serious injury issues. Arguably the best three hitters on the team are on the IL in Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, and DJ LeMahieu.

Stanton went on the IL last weekend suffering a grade one hamstring strain. Judge just went on the IL the other day with a calf strain, and LeMahieu just went on the IL with a thumb strain. LeMahieu hyperextended it while following through on a swing on Saturday night.

All three have gotten off to tremendous starts in 2020 in the Bronx. Stanton was batting .293 with three home runs and seven RBIs. Judge was batting .290 with a league leading nine home runs and 20 RBIs. LeMahieu, to no surprise, was leading the league with a .411 batting average.

To replace the three players, Thairo Estrada, Clint Frazier, and Miguel Andujar have been recalled. Frazier is the only one of the three that has played since the recalls, and he’s been great. He’s an early 7-for-11 with 8 RBIs.

The Yankees need to flex their depth once again with some key players missing. Judge and LeMahieu should only be out for short stints, while Stanton should be back in a month.

Frazier has provided some much needed offense since getting recalled, and the Yankees are hoping Andujar and Estrada will do the same. Andujar is 1-for-14 this season, while Estrada is 2-for-3.

When the injury bug was present last season, the strong depth of the Yankees was shown as they helped the team win the AL East. It’s time for the depth to show again but with a little more added pressure in a shortened season.

New York Yankees: Gerrit Cole living up to early expectations

Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees

When the New York Yankees signed Gerrit Cole to a nine-year, $324 million deal, they set some pretty lofty expectations for him. Through five games, the 29-year-old has lived up to them and has been a huge part of the Yankees strong start in 2020.

In Friday’s series opening 10-3 win over the Red Sox, Cole was magnificent. He went seven innings, allowing just four hits and one run. He struck out eight and never walked a batter.

The win was Cole’s fourth of the season in five starts. It was his 20th consecutive regular season decision that was a win.

Some of his other starts were just as impressive. Although he went just 4 and 2/3 innings on August 8th against Tampa, he struck out 10. He also went 6 and 2/3 innings in a July 29th win over Baltimore, and went six innings in an August 3rd win over Philadelphia.

Cole’s strong start hasn’t just fueled the Yankees, but has energized a fan base waiting for Gerrit Cole since December. So many people wanted baseball back during the coronavirus pandemic as a distraction, and something to unite everyone. His pitching performance has given the Yankees and their fans life during this pandemic and has quickly became one of the faces of New York sports.

On the baseball side of things, Cole has filled the shoes of two star pitchers in Domingo German and Luis Severino. Without Cole, the Yankees would lack a true ace this season. Once German and Severino come back, the team will have a roster with three ace caliber pitchers, and that should put the league on notice.

The New York jitters haven’t affected Gerrit Cole as he’s been great to start the 2020 season and the newest chapter of his career.