Early Sunday morning, the New York Yankees would be dealt the final blow of their 2019 season. A piercing liner through the air and above the yellow line in Houston’s left-centerfield wall. Thus with the elimination in the Yankees now begin their internal reflections and assembling their plan for 2020. So the Yankees are now going “Back to the Drawing Board.”
Reflecting on 2019
The New York Yankees had a remarkable 2019 season. The Bronx Bombers would end up with 103 wins during the regular season. Injuries were the season’s calling card and also became part of October’s narrative. The 2019 season will be a bittersweet one because while there were some positives like the emergence of Gleyber Torres as a superstar. There were also negatives like Giancarlo Stanton missing nearly the entire season.
Determining the Needs
The ALCS demonstrated that while one of baseball’s “Super Teams,” the Yankees weren’t the top ballclub. The biggest reason for that was starting pitching. The Yankees starters pitched approximately 24 innings while the bullpen handled 31+ innings of work in the ALCS. This discrepancy is largely the reason for the Yankees elimination from the playoffs. (Yes, their anemic lineup with RISP also added to it. But more on that in a moment.) If the Yankees starters gave them more length, the bullpen wouldn’t have been so taxed and running on fumes by ALCS Game 6. And the runs allowed by Chad Green, Tommy Kahnle, and Aroldis Chapman may not have occurred. (But we can’t dwell on the “What If” game.) The Yankees need more pitching, and mostly of the starting variety.
The Yankees will have a few openings this offseason. Closer, Aroldis Chapman, and First Baseman/DH, Edwin Encarnacion, have opt-outs in their contracts. And the Yankees will have decisions to make on free agents Didi Gregorius, Brett Gardner, Dellin Betances, Austin Romine, and Cameron Maybin as well. Whatever the choices are, there will be some players lost to the numbers game. Whether that be the contract numbers or the number of players the Yankees have for that position. The Bomber’s front office will begin that process this week as the World Series concludes.