Sunday, May 19, 2019


Source: Frank Franklin II | AP Photo

Last year the new normal for teams like the Oakland A's and the Tampa Bay Rays was the "opener" strategy where a bull pen pitcher started the game because the team did not have enough true starters in the rotation to fit the bill.  Earlier than teams instituted the shift, which has become very controversial among baseball analysts and fans alike.  Now the Yankees have defined a new normal for teams who experience more than their share of injured list, better know as the IL. They win.

Source: Newsday

"Calling the Yankees baseball's best story would normally qualify as big-market pandering. This year's group is different, however. The Yankees have found their way to the catbird seat despite losing nearly 100 more days to injury than any other team -- a predicament that has forced them to replace multiple headliners in their lineup with afterthoughts," reported CBS Sports.

Source: AP

These afterthoughts include guys like Gio Urshela who contributed to the walk off on Friday night and is currently batting .353 with two home runs and 16 RBIs.  "Urshela stopped being a surprisingly-effective fill-in, and became the Yankees’ starting third baseman on the spot. Many wondered if he could keep his start up, or if the team would eventually need to look for a more sustainable option in a pennant race. It looks like an answer has arrived," reported

And even though Urshela has earned respect with his performance defensively and offensively, fans still can't believe that these kind of performances have longevity.  Even on Twitter after his game-winning RBI on Friday night, baseball fans were skeptical as tempered by this tweet.

Another guy who seemingly was off the radar and unexpectedly has risen to the top of major league starters is Domingo German, the stand-in for Yankee ace Luis Severino.  He's risen to the top of the Yankee rotation with a 7-1 record with a 2.70 ERA.  "He’s shown the ability to throw all of those for strikes in any count and he has the confidence that he can go out and deliver that. And that’s what we’ve seen from him, the ability to pitch with all three pitches,” said Yankee skipper Aaron Boone via

Source: AP

Guys like signed free agent DJ LeMahieu, Luke Voit, Cameron Maybin, as well as Clint Frazier and Thairo Estrada have more than stepped in as fill-ins.  They have carried this team to the top of the American League East.  Despite dropping yesterday's game in a 2-1 heart breaker, the Yankees have remained strong, persistent and keep winning even without the big bats and arms.

Will this last? As a Yankee fan, you root for your team no matter what. And with roles reversed as the Yankees shift from the role of Goliath to that of David, you have to be excited about what this team is doing, despite the odds. Would I like to see Aaron Judge back in the lineup, absolutely.  Am I thinking about getting a Gio Urshela shirzy, absolutely.  The 2019 New York Yankees may not resemble the team expected at the end of spring training, but nonetheless, they are winning and somehow are rewriting the formula for winning with their team of afterthoughts leading the way.

--Suzie Pinstripe
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @suzieprof

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