Yanks entering 2019 season beat up
The New York Yankees have had a roller coaster 2019 spring training. Overall, it has been a pretty good start to the year, as the team has been performing like many expected — scoring runs by playing both small ball and hitting it out of the park. However, they have been hit with an injury bug that slowed down some of their more influential players.
The Yankees’ ace Luis Severino injured his right shoulder during his first spring start, and he was later diagnosed with right rotator cuff inflammation. Severino was only supposed to miss two weeks during training but general manager Brian Cashman said that he will be out until the start of May. CC Sabathia, who announced he is retiring after the season, is also set to start the season on the injured list because of an offseason heart condition scare.
To make up for the losses of Severino and Sabathia, the Yankees have a few options in the minor league. These options include Jonathan Loáisiga, Domingo Germán, Luis Cessa and newly acquired Gio González. Loáisiga has had a rough spring so far, as he’s pitched in 12 innings and has an inflated 7.50 ERA. Germán and Cessa have had great trainings so far and are most likely going to be the ones rounding out the rotation for the start of the season. González, who was just signed to a minor-league deal, is hoping that he can get into the swing of things for the Yankees and slide into a rotation spot once ready.
Another big talking point of the spring is the battle for the starting first basemen between Luke Voit and Greg Bird. Voit took over the starting role after his trade from the St. Louis Cardinals, batting .333 with 14 homeruns and 33 RBIs in 39 games with the Yankees. Bird hit only .199 in 82 games and has a clear disadvantage to Voit this spring.
So far, both first basemen have performed well over the exhibition matchups. Over 31 at-bats, Voit has three homeruns, 10 RBIs and is supporting a 1.002 OPS. Bird has two homeruns over 35 at-bats and has a 1.089 OPS. Many were expecting this battle to be one-sided, as numerous fans have their support behind Luke Voit, but Greg Bird is making a strong case for a roster spot and the starting job.
The most impressive performer thus far is Aaron Judge. After missing 40 games last season due to a broken wrist, many are hoping for him to elevate his play this season to even a higher level than 2017, the year he won Rookie of the Year. In his 12 games this spring, he has totaled 10 hits, with four of them being doubles and six being homers. With all of Judge’s hits being extra-base hits, his slugging percentage is 1.067 and an OPS of 1.478. Many fans are now expecting an MVP-type season from the big slugging right fielder.
Opening Day for the Bombers is March 28, when the Yankees will take on the Baltimore Orioles, when Masahiro Tanaka will take the mound. After a very disappointing end to last season, the Yanks are really hoping that they can reach the World Series once again for the first time since 2009.