Major League Baseball announced on Mar. 12 that Opening Day will be delayed at least two weeks due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus. The Yankees’ season was expected to start on Mar. 26 in Baltimore, but that will not be happening.
MLB followed in the footsteps of the NBA and NHL, who decided to indefinitely suspend the season until further notice.
Even though no games will be played for about a month at the earliest, there are several Yankees that can benefit from this extended time off, especially players with injuries including Giancarlo Stanton. But there is one player that can really benefit for himself, as well as for the entire Yankees’ organization.
That player is none other than James Paxton.
Paxton underwent surgery to remove a cyst that would require three to four months of recovery time and is expected to be back by mid-May. He has already begun throwing the ball, which is a major step to recovery.
But the Yankees may end up having some luck on their side because of this delay. If Paxton was ready for the beginning of the season, he would be in three starts by Apr. 9, which is a decent chunk for a pitcher.
The Yankees are already saving themselves from having to worry about his replacement for at least three of those starts. Gerrit Cole, J.A. Happ, Masahiro Tanaka and Jordan Montgomery have all secured spots in the starting rotation. But for now, Paxton’s injury has caused the Yankees to look for a temporary replacement.
For players like Jonathan Loaisiga, the delay is devastating since he is trying to work his way into a starting role.
But this is only temporary.
If Rob Manfred decides that teams will still play 162 games, that may result in playing many doubleheaders. The Yankees will need to have more pitchers that are able to pitch some innings in case they have to play 18 innings or more. This is where Loaisiga would come into a big role.
But for the current time, this is a big help for the Yankees and a big loss for players fighting for a spot in the rotation.