5 Yankee Questions Before Opening Day
The 2020 MLB season begins in just 8 days.. Below are 5 Yankee questions that will need to be answered before this season begin
With only 60 games, any injury will be a huge factor in this season.
Aaron Judge, currently dealing with a stiff neck. Judge missed Spring Training in March, and played in just 102 games last season after missing action with an oblique injury.
Health and safety is the number 1 priority this season for many reasons, and the pressure will be on the 'stars' in the lineup to stay healthy this season.
Exactly 217 days ago the New York Yankees signed Gerrit Cole on a 9-year, $324 million dollar contract. The excitement was at an all-time high for Yankee fans as they finally got what they have been asking for — Pitching.
Only pitching a handful of times during Spring Training 1.0, and during the intrasquad games, Yankee fans are patiently waiting to see Cole officially make his debut.
In 8 days, Gerrit Cole will be facing Max Scherzer. Opening Night. Yankees Vs. Nationals.
DJ LeMahieu tested positive for COVID-19, and most likely will not be back in time before the start of the season. LeMahieu provided a lot of depth in the lineup, and especially in the infield in 2019.
Wherever Aaron Boone put LeMahieu in the field, he was playing like he had a gold glove.
Tyler Wade — According to Aaron Boone will be the first option to start at 2nd, but said "keeping my options open".
If not Wade, who else? Gio Urshela — Urshela shined both offensively and defensively in 2019 for the Yanks. Urshela will be in an interesting spot this year — Andujar returning after missing all of 2019, DJ on the IL due to COVID-19, Didi no longer with the Yankees.
Aroldis Chapman, Adam Ottavino, Zack Britton, and Chad Green. That was the outlook for the Yankees 2020 bullpen this time last week.
On Saturday, it was announced Chapman tested positive with COVID-19, now who will close?
Dellin Betances, who closed for the Yankees before, signed with the New York Mets in the offseason, Chad Green will be back in his traditional 'reliever' role, and now Chapman not be around for 'foreseeable future'.
The easy answer is Britton. He has the most experience on his resume when it comes to closing games, and was in that role for some games in 2019.
Long time pitching coach Larry Rothschild was replaced by Matt Blake of the Cleveland Indians, the new catching coach is Tanner Swanson, previously the Twins’ minor league catching coordinator, and the Yankees promoted former infield and quality control coach Carlos Mendoza to be the bench coach for Aaron Boone. Phil Nevin (third base coach), Marcus Thames (hitting coach), and Reggie Willits (first base and outfielders coach) remain in their positions.
A lot of pressure will be put on this 'new' staff in the shortened 2020 season. Only 60 games to figure everything out will be challenging, but there is a lot of experience with the coaching staff, along with excitement with the players with these changes.