The Yankees signed Gerrit Cole, the highly coveted ace at the top of the rotation and the missing ingredient over the last few years.
In addition, they saw their two biggest rivals in the American League implode in different ways.
The Astros, well, enough said. The scandal of all scandals leading to a new general manager and manager and, by the way, the loss of Gerrit Cole.
The Red Sox suffered some collateral damage from the Astros scandal and were forced to fire Alex Cora, but also traded away their best player in Mookie Betts and one of their best pitchers in David Price.
In early February, there wasn’t a care in the world as a Yankee fan. Fast forward to early March, and that narrative has suddenly changed.
And that narrative has shifted to the same one we remember throughout most of early 2019. This feeling of expecting the worst when it comes to injury news.
Since Super Bowl Sunday, the Yankees have lost two of the five projected starters in their rotation in James Paxton and Luis Severino, the latter of which missing the entire season due to Tommy John surgery.
Offensively, the injuries are not as severe (yet), but for the two big sluggers in the Yankees lineup, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, the same question of durability hovers around both.
Stanton’s grade-one calf strain wouldn’t normally sound a major alarm, but this is man who played only 16 games last season. Sixteen games at a cost of $25 million a year is not the way to earn your place into the heart of Yankees fans.
Aaron Judge, one of the best in baseball when he plays, and his mysterious alignments are also concerning.
He’s missed way too much time over the last few seasons, and the fact that his health is already being called into question is a bad sign.
Now here’s the good news: the Yankees won 103 games even with everything that went wrong in 2019.
They have shown you they are not only able to survive injuries, but thrive. It seems in 2020, the Yankees must again embrace the “next man up” mentality.
The million-dollar question is, will the Yankees handle the adversity as well as they did a season ago?
Soon enough, we will find out.
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