The injury bug keeps biting the Yankees. If the Bombers want to make a World Series run, the injuries need to quit piling up.
Another day, another Yankee injury.
That’s what it feels like, at least, as the Yankees continue to crumble beneath the weight of stress fractures, muscle strains, back surgeries, you name it.
Everyone knows about the likes of James Paxton, Luis Severino, Aaron Judge, and Giancarlo Stanton. What else is new, right? Now the Yankees hold their breath in hopes that Gary Sanchez’s back soreness is just soreness and he can recover from his flu quickly enough to get back behind the dish. But if not, the Yankees are looking at trouble if these injuries don’t turn around soon.
Can The Backups Keep Up?
Last year, the Yankees were saved by backups. Mike Tauchman, Gio Urshela, the list goes on. Matter of fact, they played so well that they’re not even backups anymore, rather full-fledged starters. Urshela was slated to begin the year at third regardless of any injury, while Tauchman, although if all were healthy would probably still be a fourth outfielder, was far more than capable to produce in an extended role off the bench.
But with injuries to the rotation, we’re looking at a starting five of Gerrit Cole, Masahiro Tanaka, J.A. Happ, Jordan Montgomery, and… Michael King? Clarke Schmidt? The whole freakin’ bullpen? Seriously, folks, this is kind of scary. Those who fill in behind the front two simply need to hold the fort down until at least Domingo German or James Paxton make their return. Then things can start being peaches and cream again in the front five.
The good thing is, well, they can. Jordan Montgomery, fresh off Tommy John, had a very-solid 3.88 ERA in 2017. If he can revert back to that self, he should be in good shape for the Yankees moving forward. Meanwhile, J.A. Happ is looking for a bounce-back season after his abysmal 2019. If, and I know it’s an if, but if he can conjure up some magic from the second half of 2018 where the lefty had a 2.69 ERA down the stretch, the Bombers will probably be just fine.
The Yankees Will Be Fine… Right?
In all likelihood, the Yankees will win the division, have a fully healthy team for the postseason (in a perfect world), and they’ll be off and running from there. With that said, this season has the potential to end in disaster if the injuries keep piling up. Just down south in Florida, the Tampa Bay Rays are coming off a 96-win season. Don’t sleep on them, or the Red Sox, for that matter. Yes, they traded away Mookie Betts, and although I don’t expect them to win the division, they can easily give the Yankees some trouble, opening the door for Tampa.
But everyone, please, remain calm. The New York Yankees should be just fine–as long as the injury bug stops biting. The key to this Yankee season is to stay healthy, and although they haven’t done that quite yet, they’re still in great shape to make a deep postseason run.