The 2019 season for the New York Yankees was a rough one, not because the Yankees didn’t play well but because the team was plagued by injuries. In total there were 30 players on the Injured List (IL) in 2019, which set a new MLB record. As spring training kicked off fans were ready to see all thirty players who were injured back and firing on all cylinders. This has yet to happen as just as spring training started three key Yankees have gone down with injuries.
Who’s Out Already?
Many of the injuries the Yankees faced in 2019 have had lasting effects going into the 2020 season. Outfielder Aaron Hicks was placed on August 4, 2019, with an elbow injury. It was determined Hicks would have Tommy John surgery. Hicks is currently rehabbing his elbow and is expected to rejoin the rest of the roster later in the 2020 season.
Aaron Judge missed much of the 2019 season with an oblique strain. At the beginning of spring training Judge reported soreness in his right shoulder which has now resulted in pectoral soreness. Judge is currently listed as day-to-day and is likely to miss opening day. The earliest he is set to be back is the first week of April, but that is uncertain.
Luis Severino is no stranger to the IL either. Severino suffered a shoulder and back injury in 2019 that cost him his season on the mound. Severino was expected to be back in 2020, but after just one spring training game Severino expressed elbow soreness. It was concluded he would need to undergo Tommy John surgery and would miss the rest of the season. Severino has already had the surgery and it was reported that it was successful.
When Giancarlo Stanton was added to the Yankee line-up fans were excited to see what the former Miami Marlin could do in the Big Apple. However, Stanton has been battling injuries that have left him sidelined. At the beginning of the 2020 training camp, Stanton expressed soreness in his calf. This was determined to be a calf strain and he has been listed as day-to-day. He will likely miss opening day and some of the regular season.
What in the World is Going On?
The Yankees today announced that they have restructured their Player Health and Performance staff, which will be led by new Director of Player Health and Performance Eric Cressey. pic.twitter.com/dPxE1F8kvR
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) January 14, 2020
Fans had been asking themselves this question the entire 2019 season. How were so many people reporting injuries that seemed totally preventable? General Manager Brian Cashman told The New York Times that the training program would be undergoing an investigation and there had been mistakes made in players coming back to camp too early.
Before the start of the 2020 season, the Yankees announced that their long time trainer Steve Donohue would be accepting a new role within the organization as they restructured their strength and conditioning departments. This gave fans hope but once again they are left scratching their heads.
Can 2020 be as Successful as 2019?
Even with major injuries taking out some New York’s brightest stars the Yankees still went to the 2019 ALCS. Players who were called up from the minors performed well and the “next man up” mentality carried the Yankees to a winning record over the course of the season.
Luckily for fans, almost every player who was injured last year is back and healthy. Luke Voit, Gary Sanchez, Mike Tauchman, and Miguel Andujar have already played in spring training games and are scheduled to be in the opening day lineup. Key assets to the 2019 season, DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, and Gio Urshela have remained healthy.
The pitching staff is looking up as well. Veteran pitcher Masahiro Tanaka pitched against the Boston Red Sox on March 3, which resulted in a 7-1 victory for New York. Gerritt Cole is living up to his potential, and Jordan Montgomery has returned from the IL.
All and all the Yankees will probably have another winning season as long as the injuries stay to a minimum and the “next man up” mentality continues.