As of February, it appeared the New York Yankees were entering the 2019 MLB season as the American League favorite. Bolstering an already dependable pitching staff, the Yankees added lefty starter James Paxton from Seattle, as well as seasoned veteran reliever Adam Ottavino during the offseason.
Along with pitching, the Yankees deepened their offensive depth by acquiring Troy Tulowitzki and DJ LeMahieu. With these two acquisitions joining an already dominant offense, on paper, the Yankees looked to be an unstoppable force in the MLB.
However, shortly before the season started things began to take a turn for the worse. Center fielder Aaron Hicks began feeling discomfort in his lower back during spring training, and while initially anticipating being sidelined for a few days, Hicks has yet to play an inning of regular season baseball in 2019.
Soon after Hicks’ injury was revealed, Luis Severino was scratched from his first spring training start on March 5th due to rotator cuff inflammation, sidelining him until at least mid-May. Things continued to get uglier, as power reliever Dellin Betances hit the Injured List shortly before the season started. By Opening Day, the Bombers dream team was beginning to look much less intimidating, but little did the organization know, the injuries were just beginning.
Over the past month, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Andujar, Troy Tulowitzki, Gary Sanchez (who has since returned), Greg Bird, and Clint Frazier haven all fallen victim to the Injured List, forcing the front office to dig deep into their farm system for replacements.
The American League East favorite only a couple of weeks earlier, the Bombers were now struggling to reach the .500 mark, and each game, featured a lineup of primarily unknown players. But after starting the season 6-8, the newly called up talent started to make a statement. The team has now won 8 out of their last 10 games, with players such as Gio Urshela, Mike Tauchman, Joe Harvey, and Mike Ford all making the most of their trip to the big-leagues.
With some of the injured starters beginning rehab assignments, the Yankees have a good problem on their hands as they decide what players to keep on the 25-man roster. With the possibility of Miguel Andujar rejoining the lineup as soon as this weekend, with Hicks and Tulowitzki in tow, it won’t be long until the team is forced to begin making those decisions.
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