Thirty members of the 2019 New York Yankees spent time on the injured list, but now, the team has dropped its strength and conditioning director.
The move comes after a season that saw 30 Yankees on the injured list. Ace Luis Severino missed nearly the entire year. Bullpen stud Dellin Betances threw .2 innings. 2017 MVP Giancarlo Stanton played in just 17 games. Aaron Hicks’s arm essentially just fell off while he tried to throw a runner out from center field.
The season motto came down to two things; “Savages in the Box” and “Next Man Up.”
Now, while the “next man up” season was a ton of fun due to replacement player success, nobody wants to be forced to overcome injuries to star players. Everyone from owner Hal Steinbrenner to the non-baseball fan being dragged to the game by friends wants the best players on the field. When the team’s injury situation is so bad that general manager Brian Cashman is forced to sign additional players, it’s a pretty big problem.
Whoever takes over the job now has one simple mission: keep the players on the field.
Obviously, the 2020 Yankees are the clear favorites to win it all. Outside of a huge playoff upset, the only thing that can stop this team is having to replace stars with minor leaguers again. It may have worked out in 2019, but that the next man up magic probably won’t be there again.
Severino needs to pitch at least 25 games. Stanton needs to play in at least 100. All the roster talent in the world can’t bring wins if they aren’t playing.
A change in the strength and conditioning department was a no-brainer.