After a nine game improvement over their unexpected 2017 season, the New York Yankees put a 100 in the win column in 2018. The only problem was that their bitter rivals from Beantown set a franchise record. The Boston Red Sox took the AL East pennant, and the Bronx Bombers earned the wildcard.
A new season started with enthused aspirations for a reversal of spots with the Sox, as the Yankees youth becomes seasoned veterans. The problem has been, many of the Yankees’ main pieces have landed on the disabled list. After nearly a full month of games, the Yankees are playing beat up in the Bronx.
The new version of Murder’s Row is missing three key bats. Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Andujar and catcher Gary Sanchez are all on the injury shelf. Aaron Hicks, maybe not one of New York’s frontline hitters, has also been unable to overcome nagging aches and pains while trying to rehab from his own injury.
Greg Bird is now on the 10-day injured list, plus designated staff ace Luis Severino missed all of spring camp and has yet to throw a regular season pitch. Didi Gregorius is out, Troy Tulowitzki is out, and as unimportant it might seem, Jacoby Ellsbury is out.
Now, anyone who hasn’t picked up a sports page yet this season, might logically surmise that the Yankees would be buried at or near the AL East basement. Well, in spite of looking more like a MASH unit, New York has been able to tread water.
The Bronx Bombers, albeit not hitting as many homerun bombs as expected, have drawn even after 20 games at 10 up and 10 down. They sit only four games behind the division leader, who is not the Boston Red Sox. The 2018 season saw Boston race out to the best record in baseball, and the Sox never looked back on their way to a World Series Championship.
New York fans can take a collective sigh of relief realizing that they have not been run out of the gate by the talented Red Sox, but by the upstart Tampa Bay Rays. Andujar is nearing a return, a situation which may present Yankee skipper Aaron Boone with some pleasant decisions as to playing time.
Playing .500 baseball with over $87 million worth of star power sitting on the IR list has to excite anyone hoping for a resurgence of Yankee greatness. For now, Boone and the rest of the staff should be content to continue to tread water as New York recovers from being beat up in the Bronx.