The Yankees have never won anything without contributions from all 25 players on the squad. But four players stand out this season as more critical than others.
Let it be said the Yankees 2019 season hinges on their starting pitching remaining healthy and productive over the long haul of a six-month 162 game season – and then into the second season beginning in October.
Fortunately, the team Brian Cashman is putting together is built to score runs, and lots of them, in bunches. And there is no reason not to believe the Yankees will not duplicate or exceed their second best in the majors 851 runs scored, which were mostly propelled by the team’s league-leading 267 home runs.
Inherent in those numbers lies a problem, though, which is the Yankees do not get enough base-hits. 1374 hits in 2018 place the team in the middle of the pack in 16th position, a worrisome lot to be in for a team that has its sights set on the World Series.
Here, we will take a look at four players, two pitchers, and two position players, who are critical to the Yankees success this season.
But they will not be the usual suspects on everyone’s list – Greg Bird and Gary Sanchez. Bounce-back years from both are too evident in the scope of things as we look at the Yankees roster in late December, with or without Manny Machado. Ditto Aaron Judge who will never have a bad year wearing the Pinstripes.
It’s tempting to include Giancarlo Stanton as one of the four, but he too, like Judge, will come through just because of the fact he can, no matter whose uniform he is wearing.
Anyone of the players cited above is capable of carrying the team on their back and through the playoffs, in the same fashion that Christian Yelich moved the Milwaukee Brewers to new heights in October.
But that may not be necessary if these four players can step up their game, making contributions to the Yankees that few, if any of us, might be expecting as we sit here today.