A Look Into The Yankees Upcoming 2018 Season
By Joshua Lehman
As spring training comes to a close, the Yankees lineup is looking a little clearer. Rookie manager Aaron Boone has a good idea who will be in the Bronx on opening day and who will be sent back down to the minors.
The Yankees look like the clear favorite to come out of the American League. Once they added reigning N.L. MVP Giancarlo Stanton to their already home-run hitting, power-stacked lineup, the Yankees immediately emerged as clear favorites not only to win the American League, but to win the World Series. The addition of Stanton left the Yankees with a big hole at second base. The Yankees traded away second baseman Starlin Castro, who batted .300 and hit 16 home runs while missing 50 games, to the Miami Marlins. The Yankees also lost veteran third baseman Todd Frazier to free agency, leaving them with another opening in the infield.
The Yankees have a well-rounded farm system with many players including Miguel Andujar, Gleyber Torres, Estevan Florial, and Justus Sheffield who are currently excelling at the minor league level and are ready to make the jump to the majors. Gleyber Torres, and Miguel Andujar have been the talk all throughout the spring. Andujar played briefly in the majors last season. He played in 5 games batting .571 in seven at-bats. In spring he is currently batting .262 with 4 home runs in 14 games. Coaches and teammates have raved about Andujar. Manager Aaron Boone stated, ”There's going to be days down there in Triple-A where I'm sure he is going to feel like he's better than the pitcher.” As for Torres, he is facing a ton of competition that has plenty of experience playing in the big leagues. Torres in spring training is currently batting .219 on 32 at-bats. Torres is recovering from Tommy John surgery and sat out all of last season. He is ranked as one of the top prospects in the MLB and though he most likely he won’t be on the roster come opening day, he will see some time come August and September.
Who will be at third base, and second base for the pinstripes come opening day? At third base will most likely be Brandon Drury whom the Yankees acquired in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks in the beginning of spring. Drury is a utility player. He can play both second and third, but most likely he will be getting the call at third.
As for the second base question, it is a toss-up. Manager Aaron Boone has many options to turn to. The two big names that are at the top of his list are Tyler Wade and Ronald Torreyes. Wade has played in the big leagues before but not at a high level. He batted .155 during his short period with the Yankees last season. I don’t think Aaron Boone is so concerned with Wade’s bat as he is his glove. Yes, Wade is not the best hitter on the team, but with guys like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gary Sanchez batting in the middle of the lineup, this could make Boone turn towards Wade due to his glove. As for Ronald Torreyes, he was with the team all last year. He is a fan favorite, and his teammates rave about him in the clubhouse. Torreyes batted .292 last season with the Yankees. A utility player, he can play third base, second base, and shortstop. His chemistry with Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius, and his solid hitting ability give him a leg up over Tyler Wade.
The pitching rotation is also a concern heading into this season. The Yankees failed to acquire another strong ace to their rotation, guys like Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta, and Shohei Ohtani all denied the Yankees, leaving the Yankees with a hole in their rotation yet again. The Yankees resigned CC Sabathia to a one-year deal. He will most likely be the number three pitcher behind Luis Severino, and Masahiro Tanaka. Sonny Gray, who had somewhat of an up and down last half of the season when he joined the Yankees, will be back in the Yankees rotation and could be the wildcard this year. The fifth man in the Yankees rotation is Jordan Montgomery who started a couple of games last season and has a career 4.15 ERA. Montgomery showed promise last season and has the ability to be a key weapon in the Yankees rotation.
The Yankees bullpen, on the other hand, is talented and is exactly what the Yankees need for a postseason run. Aaron Boone will most likely rely on Tommy Kahnle, David Robertson, Chad Green, and Aroldis Chapman in important situations along with Chasen Shreve, Adam Warren, and Jonathan Holder, who will see plenty of time in the regular season; but come postseason, Boone will turn to the tried and true of the bullpen.
The Yankees are due for a historic season and are in the midst of building a dynasty that can last for the next decade. All eyes are on rookie Manager Aaron Boone and his two righty sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. As opening day approaches, it’s time to stop fantasizing about the Yankees season, and start facing reality. The Yankees are not the only talented team in baseball. There are still many other teams that can go and compete with the Yankees, especially come postseason. Now we have to watch and see what the future holds.