It is nearly June and the 2020 MLB season still hasn’t started, but where would the New York Yankees be if it had?
The 2020 MLB season has still yet to start due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has hurt the New York Yankees in more ways than one. The Yankees were set to enter the 2020 season as one of the favorites to win the World Series, but now the season might not even happen.
Without a return to play plan yet announced, it is more doubtful than ever that there is a 2020 MLB season at all, but what if the season had started on time?
The story of the 2019 season for the Yankees was the injury bug and heading into the 2020 season, nothing had changed. Aaron Judge, Luis Severino, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, and James Paxton were all set to miss time if the season started on time, which would’ve hurt the Yankees significantly.
Had the season started in March, the Yankees starting lineup might’ve looked a little like this on Opening Day:
- C: Gary Sanchez
- 1B: Luke Voit
- 2B: DJ LeMahieu
- SS: Gleyber Torres
- 3B: Gio Urshela
- LF: Clint Frazier
- CF: Brett Gardner
- RF: Mike Tauchman
- DH: Miguel Andujar
In addition to that the Yankees pitching rotation might’ve looked something like this:
All that being said, the Yankees were not in the best position to start the season, had it started on time. The Yankees would’ve had to fight with what they had, which was a highly injured roster. However, around this time, we might’ve started to see the Yankees take shape.
Weather permitting, the Yankees would’ve been 59 games into the season on May 30th. This means that they would be four games away from getting Domingo German back off his suspension, and they would’ve played enough games to actually see how good of a team they were, even without some of their stars.
With what we know about Aaron Judge’s injuries now, he would still be on the bench most likely, and the only injured Yankee who might’ve been back at this point is Giancarlo Stanton who suffered a right calf strain and likely would’ve returned in April.
Hicks and Paxton likely wouldn’t have been back until some point in July, and Luis Severino was set to miss the entire season due to Tommy John Surgery.
That being said, what the roster would’ve looked like for Opening Day in March is pretty similar to what it would look like now. The only swap you would’ve had to make at this point would’ve been to take either Frazier, Tauchman, or Andujar out of the lineup and replace them with Giancarlo Stanton.
However, the Yankees likely would’ve still been atop the American League East, or barely trailing the Rays.
Of the 59 games they would’ve played at this point, 34 of them were set to be against teams who finished with a record below .500 in 2019. That being said, many of the Yankees’ opponents up until this point would’ve been teams they could’ve handled with or without their stars.
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This means that this was likely the easiest stretch of games the Yankees would’ve had all season as more than half of their opponents finished below .500 only a season before. With that in mind, I could see the Yankees with around 38-46 wins at this point if they were playing decent baseball.
For reference, on May 30th, 2019, first place in the AL East was the Yankees who held a record of 36-19, and they were doing so with basically a minor league team due to all their injuries.
That being said, it is hard to imagine the Yankees not being atop the East as we are about to enter June. If the season had started on time, the Yankees would’ve had one of the best record, if not THE best record in the MLB, and they would’ve been doing it without their best player in Aaron Judge, and two of their best pitchers in Luis Severino and James Paxton.
Nonetheless, if the season does ever start, I imagine the Yankees would get right to where I believe they would be had it started on time, but it sure does hurt seeing what could’ve been.