The 2019 baseball season officially kicked off in Japan early this morning with a matchup between the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners. However, we now turn our attention back to spring training where the New York Yankees take on the Houston Astros. As the Yankees close in on their opening day, the Yankees lineup begins to look more and more like the group we should see come the regular season. While Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton get the day off, the rest of the core Yankee lineup will be seeing action.
In their last spring training game, the Yankee offense was once again on full display as they hung a crooked number on the Rays en route to a comfortable 6-2 victory. While it is still spring and spring training stats should be thrown out once the season rolls around, the offense seems to be seeing pitches exceptionally well – Judge in particular. Arguably the most dialed in he has ever been in his career, Judge is crushing anything left over the plate. Although his approach at the plate has always been a plus aspect of his game, he seems to have somehow improved in that regard.
While the pitching staff is suspect due to a number of injuries, the lineup should be potent enough to keep the Yankees in nearly every game until their ace, Luis Severino, returns to lead the rotation.
Yankees Roster & Lineup Today
(Yankee Lineup Courtesy of Baseball Press)
1. Gleyber Torres SS
2. Miguel Andujar 3B
3. Luke Voit 1B
4. Greg Bird DH
5. Gary Sanchez C
6. Clint Frazier RF
7. Tyler Wade CF
8. Thairo Estrada 2B
9. Billy Burns LF
Jonathan Holder SP
Dellin Betances Injury Update: Reliever Set to Begin Year on Injury List
In somewhat shocking news, the Yankees announced yesterday that Dellin Betances would be placed on the IR with a “Right shoulder impingement”. Although Betances had struggled with consistency the past two years, he seemingly had started to return to form at the end of the 2018 season and proved to be a valuable asset out of the bullpen.
The strangest part of the ordeal is the fact that the injury isn’t a freak accident but instead stems from a lack of preparation on Betances’ part. According to the New York Times:
Cashman said Betances’s inconsistent off-season throwing program, plus his rush to catch up when he arrived in camp, had contributed to the ailment.
Although he was once one of the most dominant relievers in the game, this incident may help to shed a bit of light on Betances’ recent struggles with consistency. Especially if he is not taking the proper steps to condition his arm and stay in shape, that would explain Betances’ steady drop in velocity paired with his lack of control.
The Yankee bullpen is deep enough to survive without Betances in the mix but the team as a whole is undoubtedly better with Betances pitching and on his A-game. Unfortunately, his A-game is few and far between these days and due for a payday next year, the Yankees will have to take a hard look in the mirror to see if they want to continue to deal with the mercurial talent.