Yankees Season Predictions After Week 1: Boatloads of Injuries and Questionable Decisions


Above left, recent acquisition Giancarlo Stanton raises some early questions, whereas Yankee manager Aaron Boone (above right) fends off the critics where he can.

Kyle DeSantis

When the 2018 season started on March 29th with the earliest opening day ever (along with every team playing on Opening Day, which was the 1st time it had happened since 1968), many people had questions that would be answered. The questions that many Yankees fans along with MLB fans had included, Will the Yankees win the World Series? Will Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and the rest of the team bring back results similar to the “Murderers Row” Yankees in the 1920’s? Can Aaron Boone lead a team? Can Judge & Stanton be the next M&M Boys? This first series in Toronto would set the foundation for the 2018 season.

Giancarlo Stanton in his first at bat as a Bronx Bomber, would hit a 426 foot opposite field bomb off of Blue Jays starter JA Happ. (Another stat, Stanton’s HR had an exit velocity of 117.3 mph, making it the hardest-hit opposite-field homer in Statcast™ history.) He would finish the day off 3-5 with 2 homeruns and 4 runs batted in. Moving forward to the Yankees home opener on April 3rd, Stanton recorded himself a Platinum Sombrero going 0-5 with 5 (yes, it happened) strikeouts in the game. Stanton received boos from the home fans that day (honestly, not surprising if you’ve ever been at a Yankees game before). Even though he’d go on to hit a home run the next day, fans started wondering if it was too early to question Stanton’s presence. In my opinion, it is too early to worry about the newly acquired talent. If you think about it, Stanton has been playing in a different place and in a different league his entire MLB career. He has to get used to the pitchers of the American League (compared to the National League) along with getting used to the weather of New York (compared to the weather in Miami). So, although too early, if this continues (it probably won’t) the questioning might come back.

Another thing that has happened (it actually is still happening) to multiple Yankees players is that they are getting injured. Let’s take a look at all the players on the Yankees DL (along with their injuries and duration of being on the DL). 3B Brandon Drury (10-day DL because of Severe Migraines), SP CC Sabathia (10-day DL with an Injured Hip), OF Billy McKinney (10-day DL with a a left AC joint shoulder sprain), OF Aaron Hicks (10-day DL with an intercostal muscle injury), OF Jacoby Ellsbury (on DL for the foreseeable future originally for a right oblique injury but recently got shut down because of a right hip injury) OF Clint Frazier (7-day concussion DL); and that’s only a couple of Yankees players out because of injuries. So at the moment, the Yankees have a couple of well-known players that have the injury bug. Personally, I’d rather there be more injuries of a team in the beginning of the season instead of near the end of the season where, if possible, every game will count. One of the only things that the team can do is play through without these players until these players can and are able to return.

A final thing that is worth talking about is Aaron Boone’s recent decision-making along with the fans’ reactions, as well as the bullpen mishaps (which may partially be in hand with Boone’s decisions). As we all know, the Yankees decided to move on from having Joe Girardi behind the manager position, switching him out with 2003 ALCS Yankees hero Aaron Boone. Boone in his time before becoming the Yankees Manager had a playing career of 12 years playing for 5 teams (the Cincinnati Reds, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Florida Marlins, Washington Nationals, and Houston Astros). After his playing career, Boone was an MLB analyst and color commentator for ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. The first set of confusing decisions that Boone has made involves somewhat “babying” his starters in each of their first games to open up the season. Personally, I didn’t really mind it realizing that it is each of the pitcher’s first games, but it was noticed by many Yankees fans who would make their voices heard on social media questioning the managers’ decisions. Another example was letting Robertson pitch to Justin Smoak who would later give up a game-winning (for Toronto) grand slam to the Blue Jays hitter. When asked about his decision, Boone replied explaining:

It was the matchup that we determined we prefer with Robbie. We liked him better against Smoak and I think he felt better with that matchup. You have to tip your cap: Smoak worked a heck of an at-bat, fouled off some really tough pitches, and then finally got one and he ends up having a huge day against us, obviously. We were comfortable with the matchup, but didn’t get it done today. But it’s not just on a whim. That was the matchup we wanted.

In the next couple of games, along with Boone babying his starters, the bullpen didn’t seem to have the firepower that it had back in the 2017 season. Similarly to the injuries affecting the Yankees, I’d rather these mishaps happen in the beginning of the season compared to the crunch time in the end of the season along with the postseason.

Even though there have been many questions and still are many questions about the newly looked Yankees, I believe they can still take the AL East after the season. If you think about it, all that I talked about in this article today has only happened in the first week or so of the season.