Will the Yankees Run Into the Injury Bug Again in 2020?

Pitcher James Paxton leaving the mound with a coach during ta Yankees game.
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - OCTOBER 07: Zack Britton #53 of the New York Yankees walks off the field after injuring his ankle in game three of the American League Division Series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field on October 07, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

It’s a new baseball season for the New York Yankees and many things have changed during the offseason: there’s the new training staff, including new pitching coach Matt Blake, and a new ace in Gerrit Cole. Everything seems so much different than last year – well, almost everything. There is one similarity, and unfortunately, it’s not a good thing at all. It seems there is an insect that’s still with the Yankees: the injury bug! 

What is Happening in Spring Traning?

It all started a two weeks ago when James Paxton said he’d be out for a few months to recover from his back surgery. While many fans like myself were not happy, we knew we still had a proper rotation, and he would come back in a few months. A week later, we received news about Aaron Judge when he felt soreness in his shoulder. However, the plan is to go back to batting cages tomorrow to try and hit. 

But the worst news so far has been with Luis Severino. While writing this article, manager Aaron Boone released news that Severino has been having issues with his forearm. There will be further testing to see how concerning the injury is. Some speculate that Severino will require Tommy John surgery. While we don’t know if that will happen, there will be significant problems with the rotation if “Sevy” is out for the entire year. Thank goodness the Yankees signed Gerrit Cole during the offseason or this would be a bigger disaster. But there are still other issues.

Is There a Chance of a Second Rendition of the “Next Man Up”?

During last season, the Yankees needed to find suitable replacements due to the mentioned injuries to their stars. This is how the “Next Man Up” case started. The players involved were usually from the team’s minor league system or players who didn’t seem like clear fits on the regular roster. These included minor leaguers Gio Urshela, Mike Tauchman, and Mike Ford, and trade acquisitions Edwin Encarnacion and Cameron Maybin. These five leading players were key in helping the team succeed when the injury bug hit. They too were injured at times, but these men did more than enough to give the Yankees an AL East title.

Now, if more injuries like last season were to happen this season, would we see another set of players like these? To answer this simply, it all depends on how these next few months go. If more players get injured during March and April again, we could be witnessing another group of unknown names lead the Yankees in their fight for another AL East title.

Will the Yankees have Another Injury-Plagued Season?

If you remember last season, the Yankees had 30 players on the Injured List, which is still a record. Most of the injuries included Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez, Severino, and Miguel Andujar. The biggest names for the Yankees that season effectively did not play together consistently. The injuries did, however, give way to the “Next Man Up” campaign, which was the big reason why the Yankees clinched the AL East last season. 

Now we look to answer the central question: will more injuries happen this season? To answer this question, we must watch and pray that the players keep themselves healthy. The players realize that if they want to take the top crown in the AL East, they have to avoid getting injured at all costs.

Hopeful, but Uncertain

To sum up, we aren’t exactly sure if the Yankees’ injury bug will come back. To win the World Series, you need to avoid the injury bug as much as possible. We need a metaphorical flyswatter to rid of any annoying insects, and we need to do it now. If the team doesn’t, they can kiss the AL East title and World Series Trophy goodbye.


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