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A glass half-full approach to the Yankees’ nightmarish start to the season

If they Yankees can “turn the corner” as Aaron Boone repeatedly says they will, their roster is still good enough to weather this horrific injury plague.

MLB: New York Yankees at Houston Astros Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into the season, if there was one thing that could have held back the intimidating and powerful 2019 Yankees roster, it was injuries. Unfortunately, the injury bug has bitten, and it has not stopped as the Yankees are struggling to find a repellent. Fans have watched one star after the other go down with a strain, a tear, or tightness somewhere in their body. Yet, for that reason specifically, with the exception of a few players of course, now is not the time to push the panic button.

If this current roster can hover above .500, they will slowly but surely get back the players that will put them over the top and could turn into an awesome story as the season goes along. Even though the Yankees have experienced the worst of luck so far, the bright side is the vast majority of these injuries are not long term.

Despite all the injuries, the Yankees still boast a pitching staff and starting lineup that can go out and win not only games, but series against weak American League teams.

Take a look at the recent series against Houston Astros, who are most likely the best team in the American League right now. The main takeaway from that ugly series was what? The horrible pitching, and both physical and mental errors. As awful as it was, these are things that are fixable. The Yankees got off to good starts offensively in each game. They got to Justin Verlander in the first game for three runs, Luke Voit homered in the first inning of game two, and Brett Gardner homered in the first inning of game three.

The first two games were blown after the seventh inning by a bullpen that is supposed to be one of the best of all time. Top end relievers like Zack Britton and Chad Green simply did not perform the way we know they all can. Then in game three, the big acquisition of the offseason, James Paxton, came out flat for his first big start as a Yankee when the team needed a pick-me-up. Every Yankee fan went to bed thinking, “We should have won those games”, and it’s nothing but the truth.

Something Aaron Boone has harped on so far is that he feels like this team is “really close to turning a corner.” Yet, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, and it seems like Boone is doing just that by pulling this card after every loss. Folks, it’s time to actually turn the corner.

If the Yankees are going to weather this injury storm, they have to find a way to stay afloat, and they’re more than capable of doing so. It is going to take more from the pitchers specifically, and when called on, everybody must step up. Now obviously every player isn’t going to be at their best 100% of the time, that’s just baseball Suzyn. Yet, you expect players like Britton, Green and Paxton to turn it around and start playing like the back of their baseball card, and it’s only appropriate to think they will.

As far as the offense goes, Aaron Judge, DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres are all playing well to start the season, and can anchor the lineup. Luke Voit may still be in his “prove yourself” stage boasting a batting average of only .204, yet he is still leading the team in RBI with 14, and has hit four homers as well. DJ LeMahieu has been an otherworldly talent for the team batting a ridiculous .396 with an OPS of 1.059, second to only Gary Sanchez. They just need to keep this up until reinforcements arrive.

Starting with CC Sabathia’s debut this past weekend, it seems like the team can only improve from here as key members are activated from the injured list. Gary Sanchez and Troy Tulowitzki should be back sooner rather than later, and Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks should return in their rightful places of first and third in the batting order after four-to-six weeks. This team should slowly gain their true identity as they trickle towards the All-Star break. As we all know after that, the training staff is hopeful that Luis Severino will return sometime in July, and if there is a little luck on the Yankees’ side, Miguel Andujar will avoid season-ending injury.

But for now, the Yankees have to clean up their act by avoiding unacceptable physical errors and not letting winnable games slip away. This can be done, but it will truly be a test if this team hopes to have any long-term success come October.