Since the middle of March, we have been deprived of professional sports due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Despite the fact that this has caused many people much sadness having to go through this dry spell of no live sports, there have been some positives aspects along the way.
One Major League Baseball team in particular that has benefitted from the virus is the New York Yankees, who before the outbreak of the Coronavirus were going into the 2020 regular season with key players riddled by injuries.
Three of the Yankees outfielders (Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Aaron Hicks), have suffered injuries that could have resulted in them missing a lot of games.
On March 6th, Judge was diagnosed with a fractured rib which would keep him out until the summertime. Judge is an essential member of the Yankees roster as he provides tremendous power at the plate, defensive prowess in the field, and is one of the brightest young stars in the game.
Stanton suffered a Grade 1 right calf strain on February 25th with an initial time frame of recovery of four-to-six weeks meaning that he would most likely miss some time early in the season.
Luckily for Stanton, if the season started now, he would most likely be ready to play. Yankees manager Aaron Boone said on April 23rd that, “When we get ready to go, he should certainly be ready to be back and part of things.”
On October 30th, Hicks underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, which was an injury he suffered during the 2019 playoffs. Hicks’ recovery time has been set at eight-to-ten months, as this is a big blow to the Yankees roster as Hicks provides Gold Glove level defense in the outfield.
Along with all of the players that were previously listed, SP James Paxton is also battling injuries. On February 5th, Paxton underwent lower back surgery that would keep him out for approximately three to four months. Boone told reporters on April 23rd that Paxton is doing great since the surgery and that he’s been able to start throwing again, which is an encouraging sign.
This pandemic has been a blessing in disguise for the Yankees because, without it, they would’ve gone into the season as a teamdecimated by injuries. What makes this is so vital is that it’s important for a team at the beginning of the season to get off to a hot start, so they can establish momentum for the rest of the season.
This is especially the case for the Yankees because they play in the AL East which is one of the most competitive divisions in baseball with teams like the Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox, and Toronto Blue Jays.
The Yankees have a roster loaded with talented players that could potentially win them their first World Series in over a decade. All of the players listed above that have been dealing with injuries will most likely play a big part in how successful this team can be in 2020.
In a possibly shortened season that may not start until July, the Yankees would benefit from playing fewer games which would have them fresher for the playoffs when that time comes around.
This also helps the players, as they do not have to speed up their recoveries to get back on the field, whereas if the season was already in full swing, they may feel more inclined to get on the field prematurely.
It makes you wonder if the Yankees win the World Series this year, in a season where fewer games would be played to get to that stage, would that still have happened if the season started on time, and the Yankees were missing some of their key pieces to start the season?
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