The Yankees will be looking for redemption in 2019 after a disappointing season, and there are some players in particular that will be looking for redemption as well.
Despite the early exit from the playoffs, the New York Yankees had a tremendous season overall. With a record of 100-62, they helped make history with three teams in the same league winning over one hundred games, and some Yankees would have career years to match up with the success of the 2018 New York Yankees.
However, not everyone had a great year so we will take a look at three players who are potentially primed for a comeback.
# 1 Gary Sanchez
Right off the bat, we’ll go directly to the guy most likely to bounce back, and that’s Gary Sanchez. To say that Gary Sanchez had a bad year would be a massive understatement. But let’s be clear, one bad year does not a player make. When the 2018 season began, Gary was hitting the ball hard but was just unlucky. Sanchez would smoke line drives that would find gloves and seemingly every groundball was vacuumed up by an infielder and as the season progressed it was clear that Gary was pressing. Sanchez was trying to make up the entire season on one swing. But as we know in baseball, that isn’t something that can happen.
By the time the 2019 season starts Gary will be in his age 26 season. Typically what would be considered the prime of his career and following his injury towards the end of the season, Sanchez came back to the team in much better shape. If Gary can continue to maintain that weight and get back to the fundamentals, Sanchez will be primed for another stellar campaign. Potentially a 30/100 type season.
# 2 Luis Severino
A tale of two Severinos was witnessed in 2018. In the first half, Luis Severino looked poised to capture his first AL Cy Young award. As he was dominating the entire league. But in the second half, we saw the 2016 type of Severino. The Severino that made Yankee fans question whether Sevy could hang as a starter. It was rumored all throughout the league that Severino was tipping his pitches. And judging by the at-bats the Boston Red Sox had on him in the ALDS it was probably right.
.@LouMerloni just nailed it. Red Sox had a beat on what was coming as early as the second inning. JBJ says "Fastball…" to Mookie before an 0-2 pitch to Holt, Severino pumps in 98 MPH fastball that Holt fouls away. pic.twitter.com/wLGR5dVDys
— Dan O'Mara (@Dan_OMara) October 9, 2018
Severino must refocus his pitching mechanics to avoid these potential pitfalls moving forward. And if Severino can return to form he will be the pitcher’s that dominated the 2017 and first half of 2018 seasons once again. With that ace form of Luis on the hill every five days the Yankees will be able to go deeper into the 2019 playoffs.
# 3 Greg Bird
The anomaly in the entire equation that is the 2019 New York Yankees roster is that of Greg Bird. It’s been stated that Bird will have an opportunity to reclaim the first base job from Luke Voit. Bird was expected to be the homegrown long-term solution at first base.
But that has not been the case. As Bird has been the second coming of Nick Johnson, loads of potential left off the field due to injuries. Greg Bird is likely running out of opportunities. And that was never more apparent than when he was left off the playoff rosters. For both the AL Wild Card Game and the ALDS.
If Greg Bird is somehow able to find a way to maintain his health and be productive he will be a tremendous asset to the Yankees. The Yankees lineup is exceptionally right handed. Now that being said many of the right-handed hitters are not neutralized by right-handed pitching. But being able to throw a power-hitting left-handed bat in the middle of the order makes it difficult for opposing managers. However, none of that matters if Bird cannot stay on the field. A healthy Bird can fly high once again, just like we saw in his cameo appearance in 2015.