Hopefully, the MLB season will be getting underway soon, but what will a modified season mean for the Yankees if a deal is agreed upon.
In recent days, the MLBPA and Owners have gone back and forth with proposals on how to get the season underway. There’s no question the season will be modified, but what will that mean for the Yankees?
I think this goes without being said, we miss baseball. With other professional leagues starting to make strides towards coming back, a lot of attention has been shifted to Major League Baseball and how the owners and players are going to reach an agreement. A lot is still unknown, but one thing is for certain: we may very well see something like an 80 game (or less) season.
Despite the fact that MLB has been trying to shorten the game we know and love. We as baseball fans want to see a full 162 game season with the normal playoff scenarios. It’s what we are used to seeing and it works. This year we may be forced to settle for a short season and expanded playoffs. Of course, this comes with its own pros and cons, but as a fan of a top team like the Yankees, I would be okay with this.
So far, the delay of the season has been a plus for the Yankees. It has allowed guys like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, James Paxton, and Aaron Hicks to get healthy in time for Opening Day. What this allows the Yankees to do is use their talented depth to give their stars games off to keep them as fresh as possible. Even when they are not 100% healthy, they still find a way to tough out wins. Imagine a fully healthy and fresh Yankees roster mixed with guys who stepped up like Tauchman, Estrada, Ford, and Urshela. I would fully expect Boone to play around with a bunch of different lineups this year to give as much rest as possible to different guys. This is a luxury for top teams like the Yankees, as most teams that will be in the playoffs will have to use their stud guys day in and day out to get to the playoffs.
Just like the lineup, the rotation has depth to it this upcoming season. Every manager’s biggest challenge will be how to keep his pitchers healthy after their internal clocks and normal routines have been completely thrown off with the delayed season. Because of the depth to the Yankees rotation, Boone will be able to mix and match starters and openers throughout the season to keep guys healthy. This is yet another plus to a short year for the Yankees. Not many teams will be able to throw different guys out there that they normally wouldn’t in a normal season. The Yankees will be able to easily keep their top arms as fresh as possible for the playoffs.
With that being said, let’s take a quick look at the Yankees’ solid rotation coming into the season. With Sevy out, we are looking at a top-three consisting of Cole, Paxton, and Tanaka with the last two spots open for guys like Monty, Happ, Loaisiga, King, and Schmidt. Also, don’t forget that Chad Green and those last few mentioned guys can be used in an opener role. I’m very much looking forward to what the Yankees pitching staff has in store for this season.
The Yankees’ biggest advantage when it comes to a shortened season is its bullpen. It’s loaded with just about everything a team could want. Power arms, guys with nasty stuff, long relievers, you name it. Like I said before, they even have guys who can be used in an opener role. This is a good option to use every once in a while to give some extra rest to the starters. The only problem that this bullpen has run into in the past is over usage (ex: Ottavino in the playoffs last year). This can be attributed to rotation struggles, but with Cole coming in and a short year, this bullpen will be terrifying in the playoffs.