“Yankees win! Theeeee Yankees win!” – John Sterling
That is exactly what I should be hearing today. On what should have been Opening Day, instead all I hear is the re-run of the 2009 World Series Game 6 playing in the background on my television.
Unless you don’t follow baseball at all, don’t have any cool friends, or are dying from COVID-19, all baseball activities have been postponed. For baseball die-hards, Opening Day is like Christmas Day no matter who your team is. Even if your team is projected to win around 58 games (*cough cough Orioles*) this is the only day where every fan can say their team is equally good.
I would be lying through my teeth if I said that I was happy baseball isn’t going to start on time. But having an injury plagued off season that seems to be a continuation of our injury nightmares in 2019, I can’t help but look at the bright side of things now.
Instead of being buzzed off Stone (greatest craft beer company ever), I am here writing about what a projected Yankees lineup would look like on the new Opening Day. It is tough to say exactly when baseball season is going to start (if anyone reading this works for the MLB feel free to let me know), but with the way things are going, it is realistically looking like somewhere in June-July.
Projected Yankees Opening Day lineup:
- DJ LeMahieu 2B
- Aaron Judge RF
- Gleyber Torres SS
- Giancarlo Stanton LF
- Brett Gardner CF
- Gary Sanchez C
- Luke Voit 1B
- Miguel Andujar DH
- Gio Urshela 3B
- DJ LeMahieu 2B
A straight hitting machine. He slashed .327/.375/.893 with 26 bombs in 2019 and wasn’t even on the starting lineup one year ago to this day. Gary Sanchez didn’t dub him “La Machina” (Machine for those that don’t speak Spanish) for nothing. One of the most consistent hitters on the team and was a key part in keeping the Yankees offense afloat all while playing 2B, 3B, and 1B. With Gleyber Torres moving to shortstop fulltime and Gio holding down third, DJ can go back to being a fulltime Gold Glove 2nd baseman. He also hit the majority of his games at lead off, and as the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
2. Aaron Judge RF
No introductory needed. Only thing bigger than this man, is his game…and maybe the injury list. A small off-season injury that eventually turned into a cracked rib and collapsed lung (someone dropped the ball there) which would have made him miss a couple months of the season, is now not looking as bad. If Opening Day actually started today, he wouldn’t even be on this list. Although I do not consider him “injury prone” just yet (because getting hit on the wrist by a 93 mph ball is not something we can all avoid), I do however expect big things from the big man in 2020. He slashed .272/.381/.921 with 27 homeruns in only 102 games. Best batter at the 2 hole and we’ll leave it at that. ALL RISE.
3. Gleyber Torres SS
In his sophomore season at the young age of 22 (and better than you!), GT was a force to be reckoned with at the plate. In 2019 baby Gley hit 38 jacks and finished with an .872 OPS. What were you doing at age 22? With the departure of Didi in free agency, Gleyber is moving back to his natural position at shortstop. In 2020 at the young age of 23, I expect him to piggyback off his 2019 season and continue doing what he does. Every day is Gleyber Day, and everyday Gleyber should be in the 3 spot.
4. Giancarlo Stanton LF
Finally, someone that already benefited from the delay of Opening Day. Stanton only played 18 games in 2019 after suffering a left bicep strain, came back, and then injured his left calf. It wouldn’t be very Yankee-like if Stanton didn’t sustain a right calf injury in preseason which would have delayed his 2020 season. Aaron Boone recently said he is ready to go and with baseball not starting anytime soon, he should be more than ready. The man with the God-like body is going to go OFF in 2020, and what better spot to do it than in the cleanup spot?
5. Brett Gardner CF
Old faithful. Longest tenured Yankee on the roster. Can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Tell that to his career high 28HR the veteran dropped last year from the left side! With Hicks projected to come back somewhere around the new Opending Day, I’m still going with Gardy to hold down CF to begin the season and eventually move to left. With a lineup where lefties are scarce, you have to let Brett bang at the number five.
6. Gary Sanchez C
What Kraken? When he’s not being called fat and lazy, he’s out becoming the fastest catcher to collect 100 homeruns (I witnessed that live). Playing in only 106 games last season, he managed to crack a “lazy” 34 homeruns. When he’s on the field, Gary is the best pure hitter on the team. I wish I could move him up higher, but there are just too many sluggers on the team. Keep an eye out on #24 this season, when healthy…that Gary is scary.
7. Luke Voit 1B
Luuuuke! Another player in 2019 that got struck by the injury bug. After starting off on a tear in the first half of 2019 he suffered a core injury which essentially sapped his power in the second half of the season into the playoffs. In the offseason, he ended up having surgery to repair his core muscle injury and based on his workout videos from IG he is more than healthy. Voit only hit 21 homeruns last season, but in 2020 I expect King Louie to drop 25+ HR from his throne.
8. Miguel Andujar DH
Miggy 2 Bags is looking to repeat his 2018 rookie season where he came in 2nd place for Rookie of the Year which also included 27 homeruns. He also set a new single season doubles record as a rookie for a Yankee, surpassing (*gulps*) Joe DiMaggio. In what seemed like a repeat season in 2019 he (and I’m starting to sound like a broken record) suffered a season ending injury just 3 games into the season which required Tommy John surgery, ultimately ending his season. I watched him swing the bat in preseason and let me tell you, he is still looking solid after being gone almost a year. A doubles machine at the 8 spot, not many teams can say that.
9. Gio Urshela
Gio Urshela, the most happy fella! Another one of Cashman’s hidden gems. A dude that was only supposed to provide a glove at third to cover for Andujar, but man did he surprise us all! Not only did he have a nasty glove, he found pop in his bat that his previous teams couldn’t find. He slashed a modest .314/.355/.538 with 21HR in 2019 which was more than enough to earn the position at 3B over Andujar. Nowhere else to put him, last spot in the lineup belongs to him.
For those of you that grew up watching Jerry Springer, I present to you….
Edie’s Final Thought:
As much as I miss baseball and as badly as I want it to start, the Yankees haven’t had a fully healthy team since that magical 2017 run. The postponement of the MLB season (which I hope it still gets played) has given our squad a chance to at least see a 100% healthy lineup (Sorry Sevy, pitchers not included) for a majority of the season. For an injury riddled team that won 103 games that included several role players nobody has heard of, is insane. This lineup is stacked top to bottom, no doubt. In 2020, the Evil Empire is back. #Chase28