The Yankees have faced quite the number of injuries as of late and their role players have stepped in and played the role of the hero.
Who in their right minds thought Austin Romine and Gio Urshella would win a pair of games for the Yankees in late April? Who thought these two would be in the everyday lineup? I see no hands raised, I wonder why?
Getting injured seems like a norm regarding the Yankees and watching Judge go down with an oblique injury that is considered to be serious might be the least surprising news of all time. The 2019 Yankees are injury-depleted and with the lineup, they have consistently penciled in has resulted in a mixed bag of emotions or all parties involved. Just the other day, Brett Gardner was batting in the three hole. Some fans have panicked over the course of the early portion of the season. We have a long season though, and this team shows no quit.
The starting pitching (aside from the bullpen) has been downright dominant. If you haven’t watched the Big Maple’s past two starts, go check out the highlights. He is the one who started this mini-run that has given the players and coaches increased confidence of trotting out a lineup no one thought was plausible to start the season. Mashiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, and Domingo German each have provided a spark and have been the forefront of this Yankees squad. Even J.A. Happ has had an impressive back-to-back starts against not too shabby offenses in the Red Sox and the Angels. Everything is starting to click at a time where some of their star players are inching closer to becoming everyday players again.
However, we should not diminish what the role players have accomplished over the course of the first month of the season. A stout defensive player, Gio Urshella has proven to man the hot corner and has done a fine job flashing the leather in the process. Some of these plays have been “Web-Gems” and his ability to get on base has been a proven commodity through 14 games. We cannot forget the two go-ahead runs he produced in the 14 inning snooze-fest in the series opener against the Angels.
Mike Tauchman. The Sock-Man. What a whirlwind for this guy. He had an incredibly slow start, but in his tenure with the Yankees as of late, hitting a home run against the Boston Red Sox leaves you immortal in the Bronx. His pure lefty swing was brought in via trade to start the season for outfield depth that the Yankees thought they didn’t need. He has filled in as best as he could in his debut season and looks to be a key cog down the line if need be.
Even though it is a small sample size, German has dazzled and has provided a WHIP of 0.842 in 19 innings in three starts. While he gave the organization mixed results last year, there was an obvious talent that needed to be maximized. If Yankee fans have been paying attention to German’s journey, it almost feels as if it has a Severino feel to it. Incredible stuff, no control over his first stint in the majors, and now is starting to figure it out. If he can continue his success, there might not be a need or a rush to pursue other starting pitching.
While these unlikely heroes have dazzled, credit everyone in the organization who believed in them. Without the backing of their coaches and teammates, this would not be possible.