Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Uncustomed Heroes of 2019: Yankees

 The 2019 Yankees was the kind of Cinderella team that you just can't write.

Everyone knew the Yankees would have a big year, but nobody could have predicted that it would be these Yankees. Giancarlo Stanton was sidelined due to injury for most of the year, and the team had to win games without him, trading for DH options and trying a different outfield approach. Stanton when he was healthy fared okay, hitting .288 in the regular season before tanking in the playoffs.
Why Him in 2019?: Opened the door for Mike Tauchman and Cameron Maybin to start games.
2020 Prediction: A more classic Stanton year- 40 homers, .270 average, the king returns.

 In his place, the Yankees enlisted another veteran power-hitter, Edwin Encarnacion, to take some reps at DH, and Edwin came through, hitting .250 with 13 homers in 44 games.
Why Him in 2019?: Came through as a clutch staple for us.
2020 Prediction: Will have his last 30-homer year with Chicago

 Mike Tauchman was one of the biggest surprises of the year, coming in for Stanton and Hicks early in April and figuring out how to hit, hitting .277 in 87 games, and notching 47 RBIs before getting injured.
Why Him in 2019?: Became the starting option for a team that didn't know they needed him.
2020 Prediction: Will play 110 games amid the crowded outfield and will have 25 homers.

 After a strong second half in the Bronx last year, J.A. Happ had the kind of pedestrian season I was fearing when we traded for him. Happ still had 12 wins and 140 strikeouts, but had a 4.91 ERA and a 1.3 WHIP.
Why Him in 2019?: Stepped down so Sevvy could start games late.
2020 Prediction: Will win 10 games, but not sure if they'll be for the Yankees.

 After missing most of the season due to injury, the great Luis Severino did make 3 starts in September, and had a 1.50 ERA with 8 Ks. He also averaged a 2.07 ERA in the playoffs, with 39 strikeouts.
Why Him in 2019?: Ensured that the Yankees would be alright in starting pitching for the playoffs.
2020 Prediction: 17 wins, 300 Ks, and some major Cy Young support.

 After Luke Voit, Greg Bird and Edwin Encarnacion all got injured, the next 1st baseman in line was Mike Ford, a Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lifer who quickly became a favorite in the Bronx, hitting 12 homers in 50 games. His exclusion from the playoff roster sent cries of 'WHY HIM AND NOT VOIT' across NY.
Why Him in 2019?: Took hold of 1st for the Yankees for 2 glorious months
2020 Prediction: Back to Scranton for a bit, but will definitely be called upon throughout the year.

 The bullpen was once again a major threat, as Tommy Kahnle returned to his consistency and posted a 3.67 ERA with 88 strikeouts in 61 innings.
Why Him in 2019?: The most unassuming, yet deadly, bullpen asset for NY
2020 Prediction: Slightly higher ERA, but same amount of playing time

 After poaching him from Baltimore, the Yankees continued to utilize Zack Britton like the 8th-inning-man you never wanna meet. Britton gladly continued his set-up work from 2018, with a 1.91 ERA and a shockingly low 53 strikeouts.
Why Him in 2019?: Continued his reign as one of the most impressive relievers in baseball.
2020 Prediction: Will have to close games at some point, and will do so handsomely.

 Speaking of closing games, how's about Aroldis Chapman having his best season yet as Yankee closer? Chapman had 37 saves this year, his highest in the Bronx, and his highest since his twin 38-save years in Cincinnati. Chapman also made his 6th ASG team this year, well-deservedly.
Why Him in 2019?: 37 saves for the biggest team in the game
2020 Prediction: His first 40-save year is coming. Get ready.

Sadly, after 19 glorious seasons (and 11 in the Bronx), CC Sabathia decided to retire this year, but what a career he head. The dude's likely heading to Cooperstown next decade, as he cemented the 250 win marker this year, after already getting his 3000th strikeout. His overall numbers weren't TOO bad either, with 107 strikeouts this year, despite a 4.95 ERA.
Why Him in 2019?: Even in his last season in the majors, and at 38, he was still striking people out like a pro. And will be missed.

That was the last custom of 2019, and these were the last customs til February or March. Hope you can wait til then.

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