It should’ve been a week until the opening day of the 2020 MLB season. Then a little virus that originated in China came to the U.S., and now the MLB is suspended. Despite not having the MLB, which is torture for many fans, there is one bright side to COVID-19. The New York Yankees players have now got the time to get healthier because, as of right now, there is no scheduled opening day.
There are two players, though, that I think will be available to come whenever the season starts. Both of these players are essential to the Yankees lineup. These players are Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks. First, we’ll look at what would’ve happened if the season went on as usual and how the injury was going to affect the Yankees lineup. Then, we’ll predict the perfect time for the season to begin so they can play healthy.
Aaron Judge’s injury occurred in February, when Spring Training games were starting to be played. It at first appeared to be shoulder soreness, but then more time passed, and it was diagnosed as a stressed rib fracture. However, the worst part for fans wasn’t the injury. It was the explanation of how he got the injury in which fans began to get upset.
When it’s explained the injury occurred in September, there is a question on why wasn’t this injury looked at after the season was over. If the season were to start under the same date as it was supposed to, it’s prominent that Judge would not play. Then who would be Judge’s replacement for the lineup to start the season? For me, it would have to be to Mike Tauchman. Last season, Tauchman had 72 hits along with 47 RBI’s and 13 home runs. Tauchman is a reliable RF, and while he may not be the same size as Judge, he seems to have all the same ideals on how Judge plays.
Still, when will Aaron Judge return to the lineup? Well, for Judge and Gary Sanchez, we need to have a look at when the COVID-19 pandemic will settle down. Day by day, people are getting affected by it, which means Opening Day will not happen in, say, 1-3 weeks. The latest I can say is June 4th. By that time, the fracture will heal, and the pandemic will settle down by that point as long as there will be no new cases, and possibly a vaccine.
Aaron Hick’s injury was a little more serious. Last August, he suffered an elbow strain. Over time though, it seemed that Hicks needed Tommy John Surgery. Though the Yankees sat him for the rest of the regular season, he was able to play in the postseason. After the ALCS, Hicks then received Tommy John Surgery, which went well. If the season went as usual, though, who would start while Hicks is recovering?
Thanks to free agency, the Yankees re-signed Brett Gardner. Gardner’s last season was his one of his best, with 123 hits, 28 HR, and 74 RBI. He finished in the top 10 of the teams hitting that year, beating Aaron Judge, and Gleyber Torres. The Yankees resigned him for not only having a good season, but they also re-signed him simply because they knew about Aaron Hicks’ injury, and knew that the Yankees didn’t have an LF.
Since he is recovering from his injury, the idea of his return seemed to linger toward June and July. My best bet for the season to start then would be July. That way, Hicks would take that extra month to prepare for the season. Also, I may not be a doctor, but I believe COVID-19 cases in the U.S. would decrease by then. Hicks returning to start the season instead of mid-season is a huge win the Yankees can have, and the actual season hasn’t started yet.
Right now, having no baseball or any sport right now is very sad and boring. It feels like absolute torture. If you think about this whole ordeal, this virus for the Yankees doesn’t make them sick, and it makes them more reliable (as long as the players know what they’re doing). The Yankees have the coronavirus to thank for helping them have a healthy lineup in Baltimore, whenever the game happens.
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