The 2019 New York Yankees: A Quick Rundown
After losing in six games to the Houston Astros in the ALCS, the Yankees find themselves sitting at home for the tenth straight World Series. This is the first time since the 1910s that the Bombers will not be participating in any World Series matchups during the given decade. The Yankees had a very interesting 2019 campaign, and there were many events that occurred. Here is my overall take on the season.
Coming into the 2019 season, the Yankees sounded like a team that just could not be stopped. They added James Paxton and Adam Ottavino and re-signed key pieces like Zack Britton and Brett Gardner, while also extending Aaron Hicks and Luis Severino. Let’s not forget the flyer the Yanks took on Troy Tulowitzki as well. The team was not filled with absolute studs, but Brian Cashman bolstered the bullpen and made some nice pickups. Even to the disappointment of many fans with the Yankees not signing Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, or Patrick Corbin to the roster, fans seemed intrigued with the squad.
Spring Training started the injury train, and the plague continued to affect the entire team. Hicks was the first Yankee to bite the dust, as a back injury delayed his start the season. Just a couple weeks later, Luis Severino saw a setback due to rotator cuff inflammation. This ultimately ended up setting him back for what was initially supposed to be six weeks or so. It ended up costing him nearly his entire season. Just a few days later, Dellin Betances went down with an injury, nearly costing him his entire season as well. It was not a good start for the Bombers at all. A key fielder, starter, and bullpen piece were all hurt. However, Brian Cashman made sure that the Yankees were covered.
The results to start of the season came as a surprise to many. The Yankees lost two out of three games to Baltimore to begin the season (their only two losses to Baltimore all season). They then hosted Detroit, only to lose two out of three to them as well. Many fans thought things were coming together when the team traveled to Baltimore to sweep the Orioles in three games, but were only stunned when Houston swept them in three games in Houston. To make matters worse, New York then traveled back to the Bronx to lose to the White Sox two games to one. Aaron Boone’s big statement during these last two series what that the guys were close to get going. I thought Boone had absolutely lost his mind. The pitching was absolutely horrific and could not hold any leads, and the bats could not get big hits when needed.
But the Yankees entire season changed on April 16, when James Paxton threw an absolute gem against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Brett Gardner’s grand slam the next night gave the Yankees a two-game sweep of Boston, and gave them the momentum going forward. Many Yankees fans could probably agree that the middle to end of April is what set the tone for the rest of the season for the Yankees.
Injuries came and went for the Yanks. The “Next Man Up” theme came along as many young players from Triple-A were called up to provide their services at the major league level. Brian Cashman does not get enough credit for investing in key pieces at the minor league level. Gio Urshela, Mike Tauchman, Cameron Maybin, Breyvic Valera, Mike Ford, and so many other players made huge contributions to the team. Patrick Corbin would have absolutely helped the Yankees, but credit is deserved where it is due. Cashman absolutely deserves credit for developing a strong minor league system.
Overall, the Yankees impressed me with 103 wins this season. With all the injuries that occurred throughout the season, I would not have been surprised if the team did not even get to 90 wins. But the Yankees did even more than that. They won the American League East, took it to six games against the Astros, and set themselves up for a strong 2020 campaign.
Now Brian Cashman has an interesting off-season ahead of him, with Gerrit Cole headlining the free agent market. Could this be the first off-season since 2014 where the Yankees actually make a big splash in the pitching market? Will they make a trade for a superstar fielder like Francisco Lindor to replace Didi Gregorius? We’ll just have to wait and see!
Whatever happens, it will be exciting!