Thank. God. After all of the back and forth, baseball is back.
How infuriating were the negotiations? But I’m not here to talk about that today. There are only 60 games this season. The entire thing is the stretch run. August and September are usually the games that we are all on the edge of our seats for. They decide the division. They decide seeding in the playoffs. There is no wiggle room this year.
How will Boone manage these games?
More or Less Bullpen?
It depends. Tanaka, for instance, gets into trouble in the 5th inning and the bases are loaded, don’t you want Green coming in the put out the fire? I do, especially if it’s against the Red Sox, or another division rival. There’s no need to try to “save” any arms with this season. All hands on deck at all times.
On the other hand, if James Paxton is throwing a shutout and is at 105 pitches after 8 innings, I would expect Boone is more likely to let him start the 9th than he normally would be. We aren’t “saving” the starters for anything. There are no “dog days” to this season. Starters will get maybe 11-12 starts? Let them air it out and round into form, preferably right before the postseason starts. I expect 5 complete game shutouts from Gerrit Cole this season, or the signing is a bust (lol).
Gary Sanchez. This is his time to shine. We’ve seen Gary hit 20 bombs in a short season before, and I think he has a chance to do it again. When the weather heats up, the Yankee backstop heats up. Gary’s rookie season, he hit 20 homeruns in only 53 games. He is going to catch the majority of the games, probably around 50 of them. Yankees have a huge advantage over other teams with their catcher offense, and that will be magnified in a short season. Hopefully he can help lead the team offensively.
This is the one that scares me. If someone pulls a hammy, their season is essentially over. The boys need to be sure they are good and stretched, especially Judge and Stanton. Hell, we’ve waited so long for the season to start; I hear Aaron Hicks is completely ready to go after his Tommy John surgery. The focus this season should be, get through the 60 games, roll to the division title, and be sure everyone remains healthy for the title run. Easy Peasy.