The Biggest Questions Surrounding the 2020 New York Yankees Season
After a long, drawn-out 2019 season and heartbreaking loss to the Astros in the ALCS, the New York Yankees find themselves looking to the future in the 2020 season. In what will be the 120th season for the franchise, the Yankees are looking to get back into the World Series for the first time since 2009. However, there will be plenty of questions facing the team this upcoming season.
Can They Avoid the IL?: One of the most intriguing aspects of the 2019 season was that virtually every Yankee had an IL stint at some point during the season. Only a few guys avoided stints, but the injury plague continued to hit the Yankees throughout the entire season. This brings up the question of can the Bombers remain relatively healthy throughout the season. Obviously there will be several players who will end up on the IL, one of which will be Aaron Hicks recovering from Tommy John Surgery. However, the Yankees cannot afford another season of the “Next Man Up” philosophy.
What’s the 3rd Base Situation: With Miguel Andujar coming back for the 2020 season after undergoing surgery for a torn labrum, the question becomes who will be the starting third baseman next season. Gio Urshela was one of the Yankees’ most valuable players this season, subbing in for the injured Andujar. Urshela was known for his excellent fielding but did not have much of a bat before coming to the Bronx. With a .889 OPS, Urshela put his previous poor offensive numbers behind him and had an excellent season at the plate. Another question to stem from this is if Urshela can recreate those numbers again. Andujar will also be playing in his second full season, coming off an excellent rookie season in 2018 which saw him finish second in the AL Rookie of the Year voting. Who will the Yankees plug in at third? This question is very intriguing.
Does Gary Sanchez have a breakout season?: In what will be Sanchez’s fourth complete season in pinstripes, he will be a prime subject to discuss. His biggest concern is that he is prone to injuries, which have led to his offensive struggles over the past two seasons. The power has not diminished for Sanchez; however his OPS has taken a dip since his magnificent 2017 campaign. If the Yankees can get him to catch somewhere between 115-125 games this season, they will be absolutely thrilled. In 2019 he caught 106 games, which is amazing considering he had two stints on the IL that seemed to last a while.
Who will be the Ace?: With Luis Severino finally coming back for a full season and James Paxton returning for his second year in the Bronx, the Yankees are faced with the question of who takes on the role of the squad’s ace. The Yankees will reportedly be pursuing Gerrit Cole this off-season. If the Bombers can acquire his services, he will be the ace of the team to start the season. Looking at the season last year, Domingo German was the ace until August. Paxton then took that role from German’s hands. It is a question of if the Yanks will have one dominant ace throughout the entire season, or if there will be trade offs during certain periods.
The Fall, Winter, and Spring – It will be fascinating to watch and see how the Yankees handle these (and other) questions. The World Series will end either tonight or tomorrow…let the Hot Stove Season begin!