Five Predictions for the 2020 Yankees Season

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Somehow after the debacle that was the negotiation between the MLBPA and MLB owners, Baseball will be the first of the four major sport leagues to return on Thursday night. The Yankees ended 2019 in disappointing fashion to the trash can banging cheaters in Houston. With the addition of 2019 ERA leader Gerrit Cole, 2020 is another World Series or bust year. What might this very very strange season look like?

  • Emergence of Jordan Montgomery 
  • Prior to Tommy John surgery Montgomery had a steller rookie season followed up by a solid start to 2018 before having to shut it down. The tall southpaw is built to be a workhorse and showed in his exhibition outing against the Mets. With his fastball and breaking ball combo, Montgomery could be the third or even second best starter for the Yankees this season.
  • Regression to the mean for Gio Urshela.
  • Prior to the 2019 season Gio Urshela never batted above .233 and never had a positive WAR, never batted above .233, or had an OPS above .608. He’s only had three major league seasons so it is possible that he developed late. He may not regress to his Cleveland and Toronto days, but to expect him to be a .314, .800 plus OPS batter is setting the bar a little too high.
  •  Can’t keep Clint Frazier off the field.
  • Admittedly, I am probably higher on Clint than most people. But the Yankees aren’t going to be able  keep him off the field much longer. Frazier has shown flashes of what he can do over the last three years. With a new improved swing, Frazier will become an everyday player.
  • Quick Start.
  • The Yankees alway seem to have a slow start to the year before gaining momentum down the stretch. But this is a different year. With a short summer camp and many weeks of no training I think pitchers will be at an advantage early on in the short 60 game season. With a front loaded rotation and deep bullpen, expect a hot start out of the gates.
  • Pitching Creativity.    
  • When I started writing this I thought Jordan Montgomery would be on the team but as I finish this it appears that the Yankees are going with a three man rotation, at least at the start of the season. I really do think Montgomery will find himself in the starting line up sooner than later. But with such a small rotation to start the year and large bullpen I would expect more openers with the likes of Chad Green and Jonathan Loaisiga.

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