NYYST Staff 2019 New York Yankees Preview

Spring is here and so is another season of New York Yankees Baseball. After winning 100 games last season but getting ousted in the ALDS by the eventual World Series Champion, Boston Red Sox, there are a lot of expectations for second year manager Aaron Boone and his club. Those expectations are nothing short of bringing a 28th World Championship to the Bronx.

With the new season looming, we here at NYYST decided to take a look at a few burning questions for the Bronx Bombers as we head into the 2019 campaign.

Joining me (@Christian_NYYST) for this season preview are members of our writing staff, Liam Wiley (@LiamWiley), Beth Wellington (@beth_wellington), Dan Smith (@dan_smith_22), Brendan Sennott (@Aubdec), Nate Marrero (@Nate_Marrero) and my NYYST Podcast co-host Chris Stacy (@ChrisJr_NYYST).

Let’s jump right into the NYYST Staff 2019 New York Yankees Preview!

Has the recent rash of Yankees injuries hampered your excitement for Opening Day?

Christian Hessenius: While it would be nice to start the season at 100%, outside of Didi Gregorius, none of the injuries appear to be long term. You wait so long for the offseason to finally be over that it’s hard for anything, outside of an injury to Aaron Judge (bite my tongue!) to really hamper my excitement for Opening Day.

Liam Wiley: Not at all. The only one that should be any cause for concern is Luis Severino. His injury is the only one that will last more than a month. No matter what, for me at least, seeing the pinstriped uni's on opening day, no matter who's wearing them, is enough for me.

Beth Wellington: No. The Yankees have enough depth that I think they will overcome the injuries just fine. I would rather have the injuries now than in August or September when we could be in a pennant race.

Dan Smith: No. Obviously you want to see your team at full strength to start the season and would prefer not see bench players starting the first few games of the year, but there’s nothing like Opening Day and the excitement/anticipation for it each year is immeasurable.

Brendan Sennott: Not at all. Baseball is the best. I Love the Yanks, and they still have great players. Can't wait for the season to start!

Nate Marrero: Not at all. This is the most excited I’ve been for Opening Day in a while because on paper, this is the best team the Yankees have had maybe since 2009 and we all remember how that year ended. Seeing if the Yankees can match the high expectations is going to be fun to watch.

Chris Stacy: Nothing can hamper my excitement for Opening Day... It’s OPENING DAY. Nothing else matters to me on Opening Day outside of the fact that I get to watch Yankees’ baseball again.

Which Yankees hitter leads the team in home runs in 2019?

CH: Aaron Judge. I expect a monster year out of #99.

LW: I really think that Aaron Judge might top his incredible rookie year. That being said I think he will lead the Yanks in homers by a decent margin. I can also see a scenario where Giancarlo's full year of experience in the American League last year benefits him and he goes as crazy as he did in 2017.

BW: Aaron Judge. You can almost feel he is going to have a massive year with the way he was hitting in spring training.

DS: Aaron Judge (Over 50)

BS: Aaron Judge will hit 54.

NM: Aaron Judge. He’s had a great Spring Training and I think that carries over into the regular season.

CS: Judge. He’s going to have a MONSTER year.

When Luis Severino returns from injury will he return to being the “Ace” of the Yankees?

CH: We won’t see the real Sevy until June, even though he is slated to return before that. He’ll need a few weeks to hit his stride. He’ll have a lot to prove after the bad second half of 2018 and his new extension and he will.

LW: I do think his loss of time will affect him a bit. His velocity may be down a tad, but I think he'll pitch through it until he finds his good stuff again. I'd say, by June we'll see "LuACE Severino" in full force.

BW: Yes. I think Sevy figured out what the issue was the end of the last season (Boone hinted at Sevy tipping his pitches). Sevy knows what needs to be done.

DS: Yes, he has always had the tools to be an ace, and I think 2019 is the year he puts it all together and becomes an elite starter.

BS: If he is showing no ill effects from his shoulder, and he has his good velocity he will be an "ace"

NM: If he’s fully healthy and has fixed his issue with tipping pitches I think he’ll be the ace of the staff. The Yankees need Severino to be fully healthy though to match up with the other team’s ace in the playoffs. I hope the Yankees and Severino are super cautious with his return because a season-ending injury drops their chances of winning a World Series dramatically.

CS: He better. There’s no light way of putting it. This injury is no excuse, Sevy needs to be the ace of the New York Yankees in 2019. I think he comes back and dominates.

Does CC Sabathia finish the season in the rotation?

CH: I’ve been on record numerous times as saying that the Yankees are just looking to get to mid-July with CC and then go and make a trade. I still feel that way but I think the Big Fella has more in the tank than people think. To answer the question, no I don’t think he’ll be in the rotation come September.

LW: As much as I would like to say yes, I just can't see a scenario where he does. He's nearing 40 years of age and he has had knee problems since 2014. Not to mention the fact that he is putting nearly 300 lbs of weight on that knee. I think CC will be very solid while he stays in the rotation, but he may have cut his career short or move to the pen.

BW: That’s tough. I want him to. I think the knee will be an issue more than the heart condition. Given the bullpen the Yankees have, yes. I think he will be in the rotation.

DS: No, he will likely be transitioned into a bullpen/spot starter role with the return of Jordan Montgomery at some point during the season and a potential deadline move for a starter.

BS: Probably not. My guess is he ends up in pen after the Yanks acquire a frontline starter at the trade deadline.

NM: I believe he will. He’s by far the Yankees most experienced pitcher in the postseason, so I expect Aaron Boone to manage his workload so he’s fresh come October. I’d think there’s going a decent amount of six man rotations or the Yankees starting guys like Gio Gonzalez, Luis Cessa or Domingo German in Sabathia’s place to make sure he’s at his best when it matters most.

CS: Yes. CC Sabathia will do whatever his body and performance allows him to do. If he’s having a decent season and his knee/heart is holding strong, there’s no reason why he can’t finish out the regular season in the rotation.