The Yankees are heading down the stretch looking to hold onto their playoff spot, but what questions still hang over the team’s head?
The New York Yankees 35 games over .500 heading into tonight’s contest against the Oakland Athletics in Oakland, California. They will need a strong September to improve their chances for October. So here are the three biggest questions facing the Yankees in September.
1. Can The Yanks Get Healthy?
The Bronx Bombers are getting some of their injured players back. Including the most positive news of Aaron Judge swinging a bat once again. There are still questions remaining on whether or not Judge can regain his form with the fracture in his wrist.
There are also questions on the ailing knee of Chapman. However, the latest reports have good news as well. Likewise, Clint Frazier has begun playing in rehab games and can provide an extra bat late in this playoff race during September. So if the Yanks can get healthy in September, they can be very dangerous in October.
2. Can The Starting Rotation Lock Down The First?
If you’ve been watching Yankee games recently, you have witnessed a string of early runs given up by Yankee starters. Those early runs put the team at a disadvantage early and cause the bullpen to work earlier than desired.
The Yankees starting rotation has the ability and the veteran presence to make the necessary adjustments to correct this issue. But it is something that must be corrected now. Because in October runs are at a scarcity and each one carries the weight of ten. The Yankees pitching staff as a whole is one of the best in the game. Now it is time to lock it down.
3. Can Aaron Boone Figure It Out?
Aaron Boone is a rookie manager and will go through some growing pains, as we have witnessed all season. However, games in September are at their most crucial. And the strategy that Boone has seemed to employ this season cannot continue. What has seemingly occurred anytime the Yankees do not possess the lead heading into the seventh inning or later Boone deploys his secondary relievers. No matter if there is just a one-run lead.
We have seen guys like A.J. Cole and Jonathan Holder get the ball in key innings with the Yanks trailing by only a few runs. In September and October, the Yankees must use their “A” relievers even when trailing by a few runs. This team has a level of firepower and can change the course of a game with one swing of the bat. Therefore, Boone has to give the team the best chance and that means going with your best relievers, not the second best.