Updated: Jul 23
Look at us, who would have thought? Not me!
Alas, baseball is back. It feels like years since spring training part one took place. It has been a disheartening few months in our country with everything going on. With the COVID-19 pandemic and the civil and social unrest, our country’s citizens really could have used America’s past time to help lighten the mood. To add to the matter, the negotiations between the MLB, the Owners, and the Players Association was one big stalemate. The Commish, Rob Manfred (who I am convinced doesn’t like baseball), finally put his nuts on the table and imposed a 60-game 2020 season that will follow into a postseason. The MLBPA told the league that the players would comply, and folks… spring training part dos is live on July 1st.
Shameless side plug: Emergency Episode of “Beers, Business, and Balls” that discusses the return of MLB. You can find that episode here!
We can finally see Gerrit Cole pitching in pinstripes. We can enjoy the clutch and cool DJ LeMahieu, the swagger of Aaron Judge, and the energy of Tommy Kahnle. With Yankees baseball on the horizon, I wanted to dive into what the team might look like and how will the fair. Prior to the suspension of sports, there were going to be some tough roster decisions to be made for the Yankees. Between injuries and guys who were the “next man up”, Aaron Boone was going to have to strategize on which savage takes the final spots. Part of the return agreement, the number of players on active rosters for each team is changing. The roster will go from 26 to 30.
Here are my predictions on who makes the roster, and what they might produce this season.
· DJ LeMahieu, 2B
o 55G / .295 AVG / .366 OBP / 63 H / 10 HR / 32 RBI
· Aaron Judge, RF
o 44 G / .255 AVG / .391 OBP / 50 H / 18 HR / 40 RBI
· Gleyber Torres, SS
o 57 G / .277 AVG / .358 OBP / 60 H / 12 HR / 40 RBI
· Giancarlo Stanton, DH
o 44 G / .260 AVG / .355 OBP / 52 H / 15 HR / 44 RBI
· Gary Sanchez, C
o 40 G / .238 AVG / .310 OBP / 35 H / 10 HR / 28 RBI
· Luke Voit, 1B
o 50 G / .252 AVG / .344 OBP / 44 H / 8 HR / 25 RBI
· Gio Urshela, 3B
o 56 G / .270 AVG / .310 OBP / 50 H / 5 HR / 20 RBI
· Brett Gardner, LF
o 48 G / .255 AVG / .333 OBP / 40 H / 4 HR / 18 RBI
· Aaron Hicks, CF
o 28 G / .240 AVG / .355 OBP / 22 H / 3 HR / 12 RBI
This is if everyone is healthy for the July 23rd / 24th Opening Day. My only question mark would be Judge, who’s injuries this offseason has been a mystery. My hope is that with nearly a month until the start of the season, who will be good to go. I don’t ask for much, but God, I just want to see Aaron Judge hit homers like it was 2017. It is nice seeing Aaron Hicks back in the lineup, who has gone public saying he’ll be “ready for the start of the season”.
· Miguel Andujar, UTIL
o 44 G / .285 AVG / .310 OBP / 48 H / 8 HR / 28 RBI
· Mike Ford, 1B/OF
o 22 G / .255 AVG / .348 OBP / 17 H / 4 HR / 11 RBI
· Clint Frazier, OF
o 15 G / .250 AVG / .305 OBP / 10 H / 3 HR / 10 RBI
· Kyle Higashioka, C
o 20 G / .222 AVG / .280 OBP / 12 H / 2 HR / 8 RBI
· Mike Tauchman, OF
o 35 G / .260 AVG / .338 OBP / 33 H / 5 HR / 18 RBI
· Tyler Wade, UTIL
o 20 G / .218 AVG / .301 OBP / 13 H / 1 HR / 5 RBI
Other guys I project seeing some service time are catchers Erik Kratz and Chris Ianetta and utility man Thairo Estrada. I can honestly say all of these guys will see some decent amount of playtime. The whole entire league is about to enter uncharted waters. You would think fewer games mean fewer injuries? I don’t think so. These games mean so much more every week. 6 games in 1 week are pretty much equivalent to over double that amount. Miggy is back and on a mission to make sure nobody forgot about him. Clint is itching to get some action. Mike Tauchman wants to prove he isn't a fluke. We can't also forget about the hefty lefty?! A new name that appeared on June 28th was that of Matt Duffy. He will be an intersting player to watch, who may suprise us all and sneak onto the roster.
Photo: Princeton University, The New York Yankees
· Gerrit Cole, RHP
o 12 GS / 77 IP / 2.96 ERA / 8W – 2L / 102 K / 22 BB
· James Paxton, LHP
o 11 GS / 58 IP / 3.88 ERA / 6W – 3L / 70 K / 20 BB
· Masahiro Tanaka, RHP
o 11 GS / 66 IP / 4.44 ERA / 5W – 3L / 60 K / 15 BB
· J.A. Happ, LHP
o 9 GS / 42 IP / 4.52 ERA / 2W – 2L / 40 K / 14 BB
· Jordan Montgomery, LHP
o 7 GS / 39 IP / 3.45 ERA / 3W- 1L / 30K / 14 BB
Luis Severino will obviously miss this year due to Tommy John surgery. Domingo German will miss the entirety of the season, as he still needs to serve his suspension. There is a chance that we may see him in the postseason, but I doubt it. Paxton should be good to go.
Photo: NJ.com , The New York Yankees
· Aroldis Chapman, LHP
o 20 IP / 13 SV / 2.20 ERA / 29 K / 8 BB
· Zack Britton, LHP
o 25 IP / 3.17 ERA / 22 K / 15 BB
· Adam Ottavino, RHP
o 24 IP / 3.44 ERA / 30 K / 11 BB
· Tommy Kahle, RHP
o 24 IP / 3.50 ERA / 32 K / 10 BB
· Chad Green, RHP
o 5 GS / 28 IP / 3.22 ERA / 2W – 1L / 38K / 12BB
· Jonathan Loaisiga, RHP
o 5 GS / 30 IP / 4.05 ERA / 1W – 1L / 25K / 10 BB
· Luis Cessa, RHP
o 25 IP / 5.05 ERA / 21 K / 10 BB
· Jonathan Holder, RHP
o 10 IP / 4.12 ERA / 9 K / 6 BB
· Clarke Schmidt, RHP
o 10 IP / 3.88 ERA / 15K / 6 BB
· Ben Heller, RHP
o 15 IP / 3.65 ERA / 16 K / 9 BB
I do predict that the bullpen will be put to the test this. No way starters are going to be throwing long games. If they can preserve these guys for the postseason, the bullpen is going to be put to work. The expanded roster also helps with this, as they now will have three extra bodies to fit in the innings. I do want to note that there is the 3-batter minimum for a pitcher. Other guys who I think are waiting in the wings that will be ready to get called up are Michael King, Deivi Garcia, Tyler Lyons, David Hale, and Albert Abreu.
Baseball is an unpredictable game. Nobody would’ve thought that after losing Bryce Harper, the Nationals would the 2019 World Series Champs. In this year’s format, the Nationals probably would have missed the playoffs.
Just with these stats above (I was generous), I see the Yankees going at least 40-20. Bold? Who knows. Because of the pandemic and limited travel, the Yankees will have 40 games between the AL East and 20 with the NL East. I see those 20 losses coming from mainly the Nationals, Rays, and Braves. The Mets, Phillies, and Blue Jays are going to be interesting. The Red Sox rivalry I don’t feel will be hot because they are going through a weird-ass time. The Orioles? Lol.
The Yanks are a +400 to win the World Series. I think that this will be the year that gets them over the hump, and they capture their 28th title. We lost the same true clubhouse guys, but when everyone is healthy, this is a bullet train you cannot stop. I am so fucking pumped to get baseball back. The KBO was fun and all, but this is what gets the juices flowing. We’ll see you on July 1st for spring training 2.0.
Photo: SNY.tv, The New York Yankees