Let’s take a look at which New York Yankees have stood out in the first quarter of the 2019 season, despite being bitten by the injury bug.
Forty-two games into the 2019 season, the New York Yankees are a quarter of the way through the new campaign.
Despite 17 different players having been placed on the injured list including some of their biggest stars, the Bombers are sitting pretty with a 26-16 record which is good to put them only a half a game back of the first place Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East. With players such as Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Andujar, Luis Severino and Dellin Betances on the shelf the Yankees have had a fair share of players step up and play critical roles to help the team stay afloat.
Let’s take a look at some who have stood out and others who have struggled by giving out some hardware in several different award categories.
Biggest Disappointment: Giancarlo Stanton
It’s hard to fault a player that’s only played three games due to injury all too much, but Giancarlo Stanton has been a massive disappointment for several reasons.
The Yankees took on Stanton’s massive contract for the Marlins and gave up quality prospects when they could have waited until the following off-season to sign left-handed superstar Bryce Harper. After an up and down 2018 in the Bronx Stanton has missed nearly all of 2019 for a bicep injury that seems to have healed however now Stanton is dealing with shoulder problems.
It’s safe to assume Stanton did not do enough to get physically ready for 2019 a season where the team was relying on him to the be the MVP caliber player he was in Miami. Hopefully, the Yankees can soon get Stanton back in left field, and he can prove to fans that he was worth trading for.
It’s hard to fault a player that’s only played three games due to injury all too much but Giancarlo Stanton has been massive disappoiintment for several reasons
After an up and down 2018 in the Bronx Stanton has missed nearly all of 2019 for a bicep injury that seems to have healed however now Stanton is dealing with shoulder problems.
Biggest Surprise: Gio Urshela
This one is a no brainer. Who could’ve predicted just how important Gio Urshela who seemed destined to be a carer minor leaguer would be for the New York Yankees in 2019. In his time at the big league level with the Indians and Blue Jays Urshela was known for his outstanding defense but poor offense.
However, with the Yankees in 2019, Urshela has put everything together. He’s played gold glove caliber third base and has been a force at the plate. Urshela is batting .330 with a pair of home runs and 15 RBIs in 33 games played this season and has had several clutch hits to help the Yankees pick up wins.
Without Urshela, the team would not be where they are in the standings and who could have predicted that type of impact from a player who had never played more than 81 games in a season in the majors.
Impact Newcomer: DJ LeMahieu
Remember when Yankees twitter was outraged when the team opted to sign DJ LeMaheiu instead of Manny Machado? Well, now the move doesn’t sound half bad. L
Now a Yankee the baseball world is seeing just how talented LeMaheiu is. The infielder as shined with the glove at multiple positions and at the plate is batting .322 with an outstanding .371 on-base percentage. He has been exactly what the Yankees needed in the infield both at the plate and in the field as has been a critical reason as to why the team is 10 games above .500.
Comeback Player: Tommy Kanhle
After a brutal 2018 season that saw Tommy Kanhle spend much of the year at Triple-A, the right-handed reliever is back better than ever. With Delin Betances out the Yankees needed someone to slide into his seventh-inning role. Kanhle has done just that and has done so almost even more effectively.
In 19 relief appearances, so far this season Kanhle has posted an outstanding 1.08 ERA, has struck out 23 batters in just 16.2 innings of work and has held batters to just a .206 batting average against.
Team Cy Young: Domingo German
Before the season if one were to ask you who you thought would have eight wins so far this season you’d probably guess Max Scherzer or Chris Sale.
The correct answer, however, would be Domingo German. The 26-year-old right-hander very well might have started the season in Triple-A or the bullpen if Luis Severino were healthy. Instead, he has become one of the top pitchers in baseball and is emerging as the ace of the Yankees staff.German is 8-1 in eight starts and one relief appearance this season. In addition, he has posted a sensational .251 ERA with 52 strikeouts in 50.1 innings of work.
There’s no doubt he’s been one of baseball’s best this season which no one could’ve expected, but the Yankees will happily take it.
Team MVP: Aaron Boone
No Aaron Boone is obviously not a player, and there are several worthy ones of the early season MVP award but how could you not give this to Boone?
Boone has had to deal with 17 injuries including his entire starting outfield, ace and now third basemen out for the season. What has he done? Kept the locker room motivated and upbeat, managed the bullpen brilliantly and has guided a team full of reserves 10 games above the .500 mark.The team is only going to improve as their injured players return and Aaron Boone deserves a lot of credit for assuring when those players come back they won’t have to play catch up in the standings.