Yankees: 3 things we learned from 2019 ALCS defeat
Too many injuries in 2019
The number and nature of injuries suffered by the club during the 2019 season MUST be corrected if the team hopes to return to the playoffs next year. The team had an MLB-record 30 players landing on the IL.
Injuries were a huge and ongoing problem throughout the season and spilled over into the playoffs with Giancarlo Stanton, an obvious (and expensive) key player, experiencing limited action in the ALCS.
Aaron Hicks struggled at the plate as well. Further, for those players who spent considerable time on the IL (like Aaron Judge), it meant less playing time and preparation, and lost momentum heading in the playoffs.
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Nevertheless, it is truly remarkable that the Yankees were still able to win over 100 games despite the numerous serious injuries the team suffered.
Amazingly, many of the same star players had either recurring ailments or different injuries at various times (Aaron Hicks, who will have Tommy John surgery soon and will likely be lost for at least the first half of the 2020 season). Something is rotten in Denmark.
Most of the injuries involved strains, sprains, and groin and hamstring pulls that could have been avoided with proper conditioning in spring training and attentive and effective medical care throughout the 2019 season.
Amazingly, we even witnessed several injured players immediately re-injuring themselves after just getting off the IL (Gary Sanchez and Dellin Betances). It’s time to clean house and replace the existing conditioning and medical staff, something that GM Cashman will very likely do according to reports.
The problems that plagued the Yanks during the 2019 season can easily be resolved if the team makes the right moves. Correcting the two glaring ones, inferior starting pitching, and too many injuries should be at the top of the list of team executives as the club heads into the offseason.
If these issues are effectively addressed, the Bombers should be able to win an additional dozen games in 2020 and make it to the World Series.