Yankees: 4 Worst-Case Scenarios for the 2020 Season

New York Yankees OF Giancarlo Stanton (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
New York Yankees OF Giancarlo Stanton (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images) /
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A look at what could go wrong for the Yankees in 2020.

It’s hard to imagine a disappointing 2020 season with all of the expectations the New York Yankees have, but what if this year doesn’t go as planned?

This is a tough idea to think about, but as the old saying goes, “expect the worst but hope for the best.” Anything but a World Series would be a failure for New York, so if the following scenarios come to fruition, it could be a painful 60-game sprint in the Bronx.

A quick caveat before we move along: the coronavirus pandemic will cast its shadow over the MLB season and could lead to a worst-case scenario for the sport in general, but we’ll take a look solely at on-field issues that could plague the Yanks in 2020.

J.A. Happ #33 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

4. Flops in the back end of the starting rotation

The backend of the rotation could turn into a revolving door for the Yankees.

On paper, New York’s pitching staff looks very strong. With Gerrit Cole as the ace, James Paxton and Masahiro Tanaka round out a formidable top three.

After that, the staff does have notable question marks. Veteran J.A. Happ is coming off arguably the worst season his career and Jordan Montgomery will return to the starting rotation for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2018.

If Happ is unable to find his groove early and Montgomery can’t repeat the magic of his rookie campaign in 2017, the back end of the Yanks rotation will be in trouble. While that may not be an issue for a postseason series, New York has to get there first.

The Yankees will not be able to afford to let Happ and Montgomery, or any other starter for that matter, “figure it out,” providing them with longer leashes as they normally do with a full 162-game marathon. Instead, they’ll need to react quickly and either resort to the opener method or give opportunities to young guys like Clarke Schmidt, Deivi Garcia or Michael King.

Although talented, the aforementioned young arms are unproven and are certainly not guaranteed to be the answer in 2020.

New York should have the offensive firepower and front end rotation arms to make the postseason, but a disastrous year from their last two rotation spots could lead to serious issues and an overtaxed bullpen when the playoffs begin.