1. Can Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton Survive 162?
This is, unfortunately, the only question that really matters for the 2021 Yankees, and we’ll need six months to get back to you with an answer.
Naturally, the same question goes for the rotation, too, but there’s a lot more leeway there.
Getting through a few weeks unscathed, replete with positive talk of yoga, mindfulness, and glute exercises, is a nice start. But this Yankees team will not hit its championship-level ceiling without as many games played as possible by both behemoths.
The Yankees can’t answer their injury questions yet.
On Oct. 1, presuming they’ve adequately survived the 162-game grind, both men need to be in the lineup. There is no vintage fan’s fantasy where the team is better without Judge and Stanton, trading strikeouts for grit and making the extra pass, even though this isn’t basketball.
You can’t talk yourself into the Yankees as a contender without exemplary seasons from both men. That’s why every day of the spring, as well as every early-season game, is really just a stress test in which fans have to constantly grit their teeth and hope their heroes escape all nine innings intact.
For the fringe members of this roster, there’s plenty still to be proven. For Judge and Stanton? They can only go backwards.
As locked in as Judge currently is, we almost wish he could sit in a cryo chamber for the next several weeks. The answer to this question is only in its first paragraph, and no amount of spring dingers and pliability will change that, unfortunately.