1. Injury bug strikes again
Another year of injury after injury can slow the Yankees in their tracks.
The biggest threat to the Yankees success this season is the injury bug. Last year, New York sent an MLB record 30 players to the injured list but was able to weather the storm and win 103 games. In a 60-game sprint, losing a few key contributors could open the door and leave New York vulnerable, especially with a schedule loaded with tough NL East opponents.
Durability concerns surrounding some of the Yankees’ best players are well documented. If New York loses oft-injured outfielders Giancarlo Stanton or Aaron Judge for a few weeks, it will be an enormous hole to try and patch up in an abbreviated campaign.
Luckily for New York, a number of players who were set to miss time early in the season (Stanton, Judge, Aaron Hicks, James Paxton, etc.) will be healthy when Opening Day arrives. Although the Yankees may not be fully 100%, it certainly feels like the team is complete for the first time in a long time.
Now, New York displayed its depth last season with players like Clint Frazier, Mike Tauchman and Gio Urshela ready to step up at a moment’s notice. However, to expect the Yankees’ bench players to replicate such performances is a lot to ask.
Without the “Next Man Up” magic of the 2019 campaign, another year full of injuries could derail the Yankees’ 2020 season.