Yankees: 3 X-Factors in Shortened 2020 MLB Season
By Adam Weinrib
1. Yankees: Bullpen Behemoths
The New York Yankees bullpen is suited for a 60-game season.
New York’s overload of bullpen arms is a luxurious X-factor that their chief rivals simply do not have.
In a 162-game season, there are games that can be sacrificed, and opportunities that can be afforded to lesser relievers and rookies looking to prove themselves. It may feel especially frustrating after you’ve just watched baseball for three hours, but it’s true. In the grand scheme of things, some of the emphasis and burden has to be placed on lesser arms for the greater good.
But what of the 60-game sprint? Bullpen aces still have to be kept fresh, but every game counts. Therefore, the Yankees’ second battalion of relievers is a massive advantage come 2020.
If Aroldis Chapman can’t close, Zack Britton can go. Adam Ottavino can rest in favor of Tommy Kahnle. Chad Green can’t get burnt out again this time — so Luis Cessa can air it out for a few innings. New York’s bullpen was built for a full season, sure, but as long as the starters are providing length, there are things the NYY can do in a short sprint that we’d previously considered to be October strategies.
Luckily, there’s enough oomph in this ‘pen to hopefully help carry the team where others will falter — who’s that second line of defense in Houston? In Boston? Bottom line, the Yankees (and Rays) are built in a way their rivals aren’t, and both teams will have a unique advantage in this strange new world.