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Around the Empire: Yankees News - 6/29/20

A few New York stars have had rough 60-game starts in the past; Former Yankees pitcher thinks we could be in for anemic offense this season; MLB still has countless questions to answer about the health and safety of its season.

Pittsburgh Pirates v New York Yankees Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images | Randy Miller: With a 60-game season looming, it’s natural to wonder how the Yankees’ stars have fared during the first couple months of a typical season. Miller looks at how the likes of Gerrit Cole, Giancarlo Stanton, and Masahiro Tanaka have performed over the first 60 games of recent seasons. Cole has struggled over the first 60 games twice in the past two seasons, and Stanton hasn’t gotten off to a hot start in years. There could be something here, but I’m more likely to treat shaky starts for the likes of Cole and Stanton as variance than as evidence they’re doomed to flounder in a short season.

New York Post | George A. King: Former Yankee pitcher Mike Stanton offered some analysis on the shortened season, opining that there’s potential for a drop in offense in 2020. He reasons, that pitchers will be far ahead of hitters to start the campaign. Pitchers, for the most part, have been able to keep decent routines through the shutdown, throwing bullpens and keeping their arms strong. Hitters have been left with little chance to see live pitching. Perhaps Stanton is right, and we’ll see offense fall with rusty hitters going against practiced pitchers.

The Ringer | Zack Kram: Most coverage of MLB’s potential return has focused on baseball-specific aspects; the roster sizes, the schedule, the playoff format. Less discussed but more important are the league’s health plans, which ominously haven’t received much input from local health officials in cities in which the league plans to play. As we gear up for a shortened season, Kram highlights all the reasons to be skeptical that it’s safe to play, and brings up the possibility that MLB starts up, only to shut down yet again.

Also, in case you missed it, the Yankees announced their 58-man player pool for the upcoming season. It included infielder Matt Duffy, who the Yankees had just signed to a minor league contract.