By: Joe Cardoso
Last season if you are an honest fan of the New York Yankees you hoped for the team to compete day in and out. If we got some lucky breaks maybe sneak into the postseason, but with a shaky rotation and some unproven young players, at least for my expectations, they were not very high. Then the bombing started, as a team, they broke the MLB record for home runs with 267, and remember Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez both missed a ton of games. The first team in major league baseball history to have 20 homers from all nine batters in the lineup, talk about depth and power. This season I have the same cautions mindset, but the ball should be flying all over baseball stadiums nationwide. What else to look for in 2019?
*Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and J.A. Happ are a necessity. Why do you ask? Because CC Sabathia won’t be back until mid-April at the earliest and Luis Severino, won’t return until sometime in May, due to rotator cuff injury. Two arms that can chew up innings and perform at a high level when needed. Severino will have a heavy load and hopes to build off last season. You can hit the ball all you want in the end it always comes down to pitching
*Troy Tulowitzki will start the season at shortstop it feels like a lifetime ago he was a stud in the National league. Knee injuries have hurt him, and it will be key to pay close watch on his usage until the kid Didi Gregorius is ready to return from Tommy John surgery, which could be as early as sometime in June.
*Who will be the mainstay at first base or will it switch up game to game? Luke Voit, Greg Bird and Aaron Hicks someone has to be the guy. It’s year two of having Giancarlo Stanton on the team, and as quickly as he was booed last season, the cheers followed. He should be even more comfortable in pinstripes which means danger for pictures
* One area that continues to be a strong point is the bullpen, which once again is stocked with studs who have some nasty stuff. Once a healthy Dellin Betances comes back things will be fun before Chapman shuts the door. And put a pin in for later, but the signing of Gio Gonzalez could be the boost his career needed.
All in all Yankee fans this year will come down to two things health and people performing up to their potential. Boston will be a monster once again and overtaking them for the AL East will be no easy task, but it can be done. Aaron Boone will also need to step it up and handle the team with a championship touch late in the season. This is New York tomorrow in sports is never a sure thing, not saying he is done, but crazier things have happened. One last thing on my radar is what year two brings for Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar.
All season long I will be talking Yankees the good and the bad make sure to follow our blog @NutsAndBoltsSP and me @JoeCardoso301. What do you think this season will bring? Until next week PINSTRIPE PRIDE!