The Yankees have used 136 different lineups and 135 different batting orders this year, and at least four players have played at five different positions. This organization has depth, lots of it, and they have needed every bit of it in 2019. Despite the Yankees playing with different players nearly every day, not only have they played to 43 games over .500, but we have seen them complete several comeback wins over the season.
Time and time again, the Yankees young offense will tack on runs against opposing bullpens as their bullpen keeps them within reach. They rarely get blown out, and stay in every game, never willing to say die. This is the type of attitude this team and organization plays with. We have now seen it displayed in the minors, in the form of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders’ unbelievable comeback win against the Syracuse Mets on Tuesday:
Headlined by Kyle Higashioka and top prospect Deivi Garcia, the RailRiders battled back from down 7-1 in the seventh inning. They scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh to thrust themselves back in the game, only to give up six more runs in the top of the eighth to make the score 13-6 going into the bottom of the eighth. This is where most teams lose faith. After rallying for five runs in the previous inning, you’d think most of their bullets would’ve already been fired.
A Kyle Higashioka solo shot sparked an eight-run rally in the bottom half of the inning. Additionally, two singles, two sac fly’s, a wild pitch, and a double gave the Railriders a 14-13 lead going into the ninth inning. Deivi Garcia threw three innings of relief earlier in the game, giving up no runs on one hit. Think of Garcia as playing the Mike Mussina in Game Seven of the 2003 ALCS role.
Position players such as Mike Tauchman, Mike Ford, Thairo Estrada, Breyvic Valera, Kyle Higashioka, Tyler Wade, and Clint Frazier have played a combined 252 games for the Yankees this season. On the pitching side of things, Nestor Cortes Jr., David Hale, Stephen Tarpley, Chance Adams, Joe Harvey, and Jonathan Loaisaga have pitched in 88 games this year. All of these players listed played for the RailRiders this year and were called up to produce because of several big-league injuries. Nearly all of them were a large part of helping the Yankees get to where they’re at right now.
This is just one of the many things that makes the Yankees one of baseball’s premier franchises. They have cultivated depth and a winning mindset at every level of the organization. It’s cliched to say that donning the pinstripes means accepting the expectation of excellence, but every player understands that winning must be a matter of when, not if. It takes a fully developed farm system to have a league-leading 41 comeback wins when the average age of a player in your starting lineup is 26-years-old (based on players who have played the most games).
The players in the farm system clearly have what it takes to win, and in a fairly young organization, it is only a good thing that players at all levels never give up on any game, mo matter the deficit.