New York Yankees: What a shortened season could look like
By Scott Roche
There certainly won’t be a 162-game regular season in Major League Baseball this year because of the coronavirus worldwide outbreak. We’re almost at the point where we would be happy just to have a season and Yankees baseball. We are destined for a shortened season, but just how short remains to be seen.
Jeff Passan of ESPN reported that MLB and the MLBPA were in negotiations about ways to play as many games as possible once they are given the green light to resume baseball activities. Some of the options that have been thrown out as suggestions have been playing doubleheaders, possibly two a week, to make up as many games as possible that they will lose. Don’t discount seeing the Yankees play some seven-inning doubleheaders.
Another possibility mentioned is extending the regular-season into October and pushing the playoffs into November. Another possibility brought up in the discussions is having the playoffs played at neutral sites, in warmer weather cities or domes, to avoid weather issues in colder cities.
No matter what is agreed upon by the MLB and the players association, a shortened season can help a lot of teams, including the Yankees. First, the longer MLB is shelved, it allows the walking wounded in pinstripes to get healthy. Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, and James Paxton could potentially be ready for Opening Day.
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The Yankees could conceivably have four of their first projected starters ready to go, minus Luis Severino who is out for the year with Tommy John surgery. Yankees new ace Gerrit Cole, Mashiro Tanaka, Paxton, J.A. Happ, and Jordan Montgomery would be rolled out every fifth day.
Should MLB and players association agree to two doubleheaders a week, New York could benefit from having young arms down in the minors and in their bullpen. The likes of Jonathan Loaisiga, Devi Garcia, Michael King, and Clarke Schmidt would most likely see innings on the mound throughout the year.
One thing seems for sure, Major League Baseball will be looking to make up for revenue once the season starts. Playing doubleheaders, extending the season and playoffs are ways to make up some of that money. They won’t make up all that they lose, but baseball would be back.
Whatever the number of games ends up being, it will be crammed into a short window. It puts more pressure on teams to win, but teams built for the shortened season can benefit in different ways. The Yankees should be one of them.