Yankees season preview

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Matt Lesnik, Staff Editor

Baseball season and the MLB are back, and opening day is this Thursday, April 1st. The Mets and Yankees had very different offseasons, but have the same outlook going into the season. New York baseball is back in both boroughs, and both teams should be looking to contend this year

Starting off, the Yankees had an alright offseason. They didn’t do much, but the moves they made were pretty significant. They started out by trading for Pirates ace Jameson Tallion for four lower level prospects. Tallion missed a majority of the 2019 season and all of the shortened 2020 season after undergoing surgery to repair a flexor tendon. In 2018, his last full season, Tallion went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA while striking out 179 batters.

The Yankees also brought two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber on a 1 year, $11 million dollar deal. Kluber only pitched one inning in 2020 after being traded to the Rangers. Much like Tallion, Kluber also missed most of the season in 2019, as he broke his arm early in the season. In 2018, Kluber went 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA with 222 strikeouts.

The final big move for the Yankees was re-signing all-star second baseman DJ LeMahieu to a 6 year $90 million dollar contract. Since coming to New York, LeMahieu has been nothing short of amazing. In his first season with the Yankees in 2019, LeMahieu batted .327 with 26 home runs and 102 RBIs. In the 2020 season, he batted .364 with 10 home runs and 27 RBIs.

The Yankees will look to avoid an issue that has plagued them for the past few years, and that is injuries. Star outfielder Aaron Judge and star Designated Hitter Giancarlo Stanton have been the main guys missing time. In 2020, Judge missed 32 out of 60 games, and in 2019, he missed 60 out of 162 games. When Judge is healthy, he’s one of the best outfielders in the league. Just look at his rookie 2017 campaign, where he batted .284 with 52 home runs and 114 RBIs. That season he finished 2nd in MVP voting, just behind Astros second baseman Jose Altuve

However, the big question mark is Stanton. Over the past two seasons, he’s played a total of 41 of a possible 222 games. That’s 18% of games. The Yankees acquired Stanton directly after his 2017 MVP campaign, where he batted .281 and hit a league leading 59 home runs and 132 RBIs. If the two of them can stay healthy, they can be a major problem, but as of now, they’re non-factors.

The Yankees already have two major injuries, as reliever Zack Britton will miss 3-4 months after having surgery to remove a bone chip on his elbow, and first baseman Luke Voit will be out at least the first three weeks of the season after a torn MCL was discovered in one of his knees.

Going into the season, the Yankees lineup looks like: C- Gary Sanchez, 1B- Luke Voit (will be out at least 3 weeks), 2B- DJ LeMahieu, SS- Gleyber Torres, 3B- Gio Urshela, LF- Clint Frazier, CF- Aaron Hicks, RF- Aaron Judge, DH- Giancarlo Stanton. The rotation will feature Gerrit Cole, Corey Kluber, Jameson Tallion, Jordan Montgomery, and Domingo German. 

The Yankees go into the season as one of the premiere teams in the league, and look to take home the title for the first time in over a decade.