While MLB fans are disappointed about the delay of the 2020 season, it’s a necessary reality. This disappointment especially holds true for Yankees fans, as the Bombers were set to enter the season as World Series favorites. However, in times like this, it’s important to find a silver lining, and for the New York Yankees, the delayed start to the season is for the best.
With the addition of Gerrit Cole solidifying an already strong starting rotation, and sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton ready to take the charge on offense, the 2020 season outlook couldn’t have looked much better. Going into Spring Training, the only seriously injured Yankee was Aaron Hicks, who underwent Tommy John surgery last fall. Unfortunately, as soon as the team arrived at training camp, injuries quickly began to spiral out of control.
In early February, James Paxton, the Yankee’s probable number two starter underwent back surgery to remove a peridiscal cyst. The Yankees announced the surgery’s recovery time is 3-4 months, meaning the Big Maple would have missed at least the first month of the season had Opening Day taken place on March 26.
Shortly after Paxton’s misfortunes, the team announced that power hurler Luis Severino had a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament requiring Tommy John surgery. With the two-time All-Star out for the season, the news dealt a major blow to the team’s rotation.
Losing Severino and Paxton wasn’t the end of the Yankees injury woes. Right fielder Aaron Judge began complaining of shoulder pain in late February, and it took a slew of tests to pinpoint the mystery ailment. The diagnosis; a fractured rib and a partially collapsed lung, were injuries he most likely suffered last September while diving for a fly ball. Judge’s collapsed lung is now healed, and according to reports, the fractured rib is currently on the mend. When the 2020 season does start, there is a good chance Judge will be on the opening day roster.
What would the 2020 season be without a Giancarlo Stanton injury? Towards the end of defensive drills on February 25, Stanton fell victim to a calf injury, which and MRI identified as a Grade 1 strain. The injury is expected to have Stanton sidelined until at least May 15.
While millions of fans across the country were excited for the start of baseball this week, at the end of the day, the delay is the best-case scenario for the Yankees. Though Severino will miss the 2020 season in its entirety, by the time the season does finally begin, the majority of the team should be healthy as they chase World Series number 28.