New York Yankees: Will the injuries prevent playoff success?

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 28: Gary Sanchez #24 of the New York Yankees walks to the dugout ahead of the game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Friday September 28, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty images)
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 28: Gary Sanchez #24 of the New York Yankees walks to the dugout ahead of the game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Friday September 28, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty images) /
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Pretty much from the start, the 2019 New York Yankees season has been plagued with injuries and serious ones. However, they are tied for the best record in the majors and well on their way to over 100 wins. Will this final slate of injuries prove to be the fatal blow or can they prevail?

The recent reports might provide New York Yankees fans with a pang of hope, as manager Aaron Boone is hopeful for the return of Edwin Encarnacion and Gary Sanchez. Coupled with the imminent returns of Giancarlo Stanton, Luis Severino, and Delin Betances the Yankees might have a full contingent healthy and ready to go for the AL Division Series.

The loss of Mike Tauchmann and Aaron Hicks– both likely done for the year- puts a bitter taste in the mouths of Yankees fans. However, this deficit in players is certainly not insurmountable for any club, especially this one.

The Yankees have built themselves a roster with enough offensive depth to bludgeon any team that steps in their path. Yet, the question remains if the Yankees have the pitching to prevent a counter-bludgeoning.

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Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, Domingo German, and Luis Severino seems like a viable postseason rotation in theory. Tanaka has proven to be overwhelmingly average in 2019, lacking in any kind of consistency and currently holding a 4.60 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. He has taken lackluster seasons and transformed into a major postseason contributor before, yet that cannot be relied upon.

Paxton has shone at many points this season, however, early-season injuries have held him back to a certain extent. On the other hand, German’s early-season IL stint will allow him to start in October. Severino adds a complete, unmitigated element of chaos into the equation. He can become the ace the Yankees fans have been clamoring for or he could be unfit for postseason competition, considering he has yet to pitch in 2019.

The bullpen provides much assistance here, as their depth with the addition of Betances will certainly provide significant support to the rotation. However, it is not clear if that is a sustainable method for success, as the offensive output will likely slim down in October. The lack of certainty in the rotation can prove to be the Yankees’ downfall.

Everyone is now envisioning a Houston-NY ALCS- even though the Twins, A’s, Rays, or Indians will not easily dissipate though. The truth of this predetermined fate would also place the Yankees World Series hopes in enormous peril.

Having a series in which a lineup- possibly a slightly weakened one- is forced to face the likes of Justin Verlander, Zach Grienke, and Gerrit Cole for six of seven games is obviously not ideal. It should be stated that the Astros bullpen is far from secure, however, the question remains if that very bullpen will be asked to work more than an inning or two per game.

Next. Red Sox are paying the luxury tax to miss the playoffs. dark

The important takeaway is that there is a significant degree of doubt, and rightfully so. Another poorly timed injury or a slow recovery and the landscape of the 2019 playoff race vastly changes.