A Bumpy Ride and a Disappointing End: 2019 Yankees
“It’s a failure.” said Aaron Judge, when asked about the Yankees 2019 season. The Yankees season ended when Jose Altuve launched a bomb off of Aroldis Chapman to win the ALCS in six games. This sent the Houston Astros to their second World Series appearance in three years ending the season for the Yankees. It was a disappointing end to an injury plagued season for the New York Yankees. The Bombers have the most IL stints ever and took on the motto “Next Man Up.” They used this motto because when someone went down the next guy came up and played well. The season ended in disappointment and while there are some things the Yankees have not addressed there are positives for the Bronx Bombers.
The Yankees were a very good baseball team in 2019, they finished the season with 103 wins. Not only that, a lot of players stepped up and were a valuable piece to this team. Gio Urshela was one of the biggest surprises on the team. He finished the season with a .312 AVG and an .882 OPS in 132 games. In addition, he also provided a nice glove on defense. Before this year he only had 8 career home runs. He had more than double that number just this season with 21. Mike Tauchman was another bright spot for this Yankees team. He finished the year with a 3.6 WAR in just 87 games. He also hit .277 and had an .865 OPS. Even players such as Cameron Maybin and Mike Ford had their opportunity to prove themselves and did not disappoint
Gleyber Torres had a fantastic season too. At just 22 years old, he has proven himself as one of the better young stars in the game. He finished the season with a very impressive 38 home runs and a batting average of .278. He also had 90 RBIS and a 3.9 WAR in 144 games. As well as an impressive regular season, Gleyber Torres had a great postseason as well as he had an OPS over .900. At such a young age, he should only be getting better as the years go by.
The Yankees MVP this season is undoubtedly D.J. Lemahieu. Lemahieu had a phenomenal season where he batted .327 with 102 RBIs and an OPS of .893. He also played defense all over the the diamond at first base, second base and third base. He led the Yankees with a WAR of 6.0. LeMahieu remained healthy for the entire 2019 campaigned which most Yankee players did not. He also led the MLB in AVG with RISP so he was able to cash in many RBIs.
When it comes to the bad, the first thing that comes to mind is the amount of injuries that happened. Just about every player on the Yankees with the exception of DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres had at least one stint on the IL.
There were also a few disappointing players for the Yankees. Edwin Encarnacion being one of them. He did not see much action during the regular season due to injury and he was abysmal during the postseason. He was lost behind the plate as he hit under .200 and no home runs and a ton of strikeouts. Gary Sanchez also had a terrible postseason. He was very good before the all star break as he was among the league leaders in home runs. However, a lingering groin injury caused him to miss some time and he has not been the same since. He just looked foolish behind the plate during the postseason and Sanchez did not earn his check with his bat, as he normally does.
What’s Next for the Yankees
After being eliminated Saturday night, the Yankees officially went the whole decade without a World Series appearance. This is the first time they have not appeared in a World Series in a decade since the 1910s. There is one area where the Yankees MUST improve: starting pitching. The Yankees were kept silent because they faced the best starting rotation in the league. Good pitching always beats good hitting and that is why the Yankees got beat. They don’t necessarily have to go for the big name Gerritt Cole but it would be wrong if they didn’t go after some help for their rotation.
With fan-favorites Brett Gardner and Didi Gregorius as well as Dellin Betances, becoming free agents, it is intriguing to see what the Yankees have planned for the upcoming offseason. The 2010s is one of the worst decades in Yankees baseball history, however the Yankees do have the tools to make the 2020s much better. They need to add a few more pieces if they want that championship roster.