Let’s say you just woke up from a coma that started back in March. Let’s say you’re also a really big Yankees fan. You probably want to know how your favorite team has been doing this season. Fear not, we are here to fill in the gaps for what you’ve missed, because a lot has happened.
Here are some frequently asked questions for Yankees fans who just awoke from comas:
What has been the main storyline for the Yankees in 2019?
Injuries, injuries, and more injuries. Here is a list of 2018 regulars who have spent time on the injured list this season: Gary Sanchez, Luke Voit, Brett Gardner, Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Hicks, Miguel Andujar, Giancarlo Stanton, CC Sabathia, and Domingo German. Luis Severino, Dellin Betances, Jordan Montgomery, and Jacoby Ellsbury (still under contract, yes) haven’t played a game. That’s not even including IL trips by some of the new players for 2019, because a couple of them have gone down too.
That’s a lot of people. Does that mean the Yankees are in like fourth place?
Nope! The Yankees are really good and are already very close to matching the 100 wins from last year. The AL East magic number is getting awfully close to zero.
Most people on that list of injured players are position players. So, has the pitching carried the team?
Also no! The starting pitcher with the best numbers is James Paxton, but that’s only because he’s had a great stretch recently. His ERA is currently 3.96, but it was nearing five as recently as the end of July. The only other regular starter with an above-average ERA+ is Domingo German. The rest have generally been bad, with the occasional decent string of starts. The bullpen has been really good, though.
The same Domingo German who had a 75 ERA+ last year?
Yeah, he ranges somewhere between decent to really good and leads the league in wins. It’s weird.
If it’s not the pitching, the offense must be good?
With all those injuries, how?
Gio Urshela has put up a 3.2 WAR year. Mike Tauchman is at 2.6. Cameron Maybin: 1.3. DJ LeMahieu is going to finish really high up in MVP voting. Going by OPS+, Mike Ford, Kyle Highashioka, and Austin Romine have all been above-average hitters. Thairo Estrada isn’t terribly far away from average. It’s okay if you don’t know who a couple of those people are. However, they are now your new heroes. Oh and, when the regulars have been healthy, they’ve generally put up strong numbers too. The team has surpassed the MLB record number of home runs that they just broke last year.
If the pitching has been the problem area, did they make some sort of move at the deadline for some?
They did not. It was a whole thing. The only deadline-ish move (it happened in June) was for Edwin Encarnacion, who as you may recall, is very much a hitter. He’s good, but is also hurt now too.
How close is the AL East race?
Not particularly close. The Yankees lead the Rays by double digit games, and the magic number is getting awfully close to zero.
You said the Rays, what about the Red Sox?
Ok, but they’re defending champions and won 108 game last year. The Yankees could still get them in the ALDS, right?