After winning 203 games in his first two seasons and reaching the ALCS in 2019, Yankees manager Aaron Boone faces the pressure of winning a World Series championship this year. However, that won’t be possible without the majority of his players staying healthy.
Despite winning 100 games in his first season as manager of the New York Yankees, Aaron Boone had his doubters. Because of less than ideal starting pitching that caused some mismanagement of the bullpen, Boone needed a rebound year in 2019 to prove that GM Brian Cashman made the correct choice after parting ways with Joe Girardi following 10 seasons in the Bronx.
Although the Yanks would fall short of their ultimate goal of championship No. 28, considering the circumstances, the results of a 103-win campaign (most since 2009) and the Bombers’ first division title since 2012, speak for themselves.
More from Yankees News
- Yankees chose worst possible player to ring in New Year on 2023 team calendar
- Yankees make upside play, sign former Rangers top prospect outfielder
- Michael Kay’s Anthony Volpe story will get Yankees fans amped for Opening Day
- No, Yankees should not acquire Trevor Bauer for 2023
- Yankees’ Marwin González replaces Red Sox LF in Japan in logical next step
While the 2019 season will mostly be remembered for a record 30 players being sent to the injured list, Boone’s now-famous “Savages in the box” rant, and six hard-fought games against the Astros in the ALCS — Boone’s player’s mentality, affable personality, and ability to get the very best from some unsuspecting newcomers is the reason he should have won the AL Manager of the Year Award.
However, that’s all the rearview mirror — or so we thought. Just this week, Yankees projected No. 2 starting pitcher, James Paxton underwent lower back surgery which could keep him out of action until June.
With Aaron Hicks already on the shelf until August as he recovers from offseason Tommy John surgery, Boone acknowledges the importance of Spring Training — and getting his men ready for another long season.
Steve Serby of the NY Post recently spoke to Boone about his most significant concern heading into 2020 — and as you could suspect, much of it had to do with overall team health.
"Obviously last year was a year in which we dealt with a lot of health issues, but also had a lot of people step up and got some really good answers on a number of people that were required to step in and contribute. My concerns are just the day to day. My focus right now is on spring training. Spring training entails trying to get individuals ready. We’re not trying to win games, obviously, down here, we’re trying to get individuals ready, and everyone’s a little but different. Some guys are coming off injury, some guys are veterans that you’re gonna slow-play a little bit more in spring. Some guys are trying to compete a little bit more for a job. So my focus right now is on making sure we’re getting the proper work in behind the scenes as far as our defensive work, our work in the weight room, and in the bullpen, in the batting cage, all those things, that we’re paying attention and really making sure we’re getting after it each and every day so that we can lay that foundation that puts us in a good position to go out and potentially win a championship."
Regarding some of the most critical pieces to the puzzle that missed extensive time last season, Boone said that he has “really high expectations” for Giancarlo Stanton and thinks that a healthy Aaron Judge will show that he’s “one of the best players in the game.”
Boone also noted that he believes the ups and downs that Luis Severino has already experienced in his young career “will benefit him going forward.” At the same time, Gary Sanchez continues to improve behind the plate and is “way better than the narrative.”