A tumultuous turn of events has disheartened Yankee fans everywhere.
So far, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Luis Severino, and James Paxton all look like they are going to miss Opening Day in Baltimore.
Here is a look at how second-year manager Aaron Boone can fill out his lineup card before plastering it on the away dugout on Thursday, Mar 28th, accompanied by their projected WARs from FanGraphs.com.
C: Sanchez 2.9
1B: Voit 2.2
2B: LeMahieu 3.6
3B: Urshela 2.3
SS: Torres 4.7
LF: Frazier 0.4
CF: Tauchman 2.5
RF: Gardner 1.7
DH: Andujar 0.6
SP: Cole 6.4
That adds up to an impressive 27.3 fWAR even without two of MLB’s best power hitters. Now how does this Opening Day roster stack up to previous Opening Day rosters the Yankees have had?
Here is a rank of the Yankees Opening Day lineups since 2010 and the WAR those players ended up accumulating.
Keep in mind, ZiPS WAR projection are just that, a projection. And those projections above are taking into account Judge and Stanton being healthy, so players like Frazier and Tauchman have lower projections because they were originally projected to have less playing time.
2011) 41.1 fWAR
2020) 27.3 ZiPS fWAR projection
2017) 23.1 fWAR
The takeaways here are plentiful. For starters, it is absurd that Ben Francisco, Vernon Wells, Nick Johnson, and Brian Roberts had Opening Day jobs for the Yankees over the last ten years. Also, Robinson Cano was so good. He had 24.8 fWAR from 2010-2013.
If Gerrit Cole meets or surpasses his projections, he will be the best Yankee Opening Day starter since CC Sabathia in 2011.
Finally, for the non-essential takeaways, Jorge Posada had -0.9 fWAR is each of his final two seasons of his career. Asfor the important takeaways, injuries are always part of teams and just because the Yankees start with a certain 9, that does not mean they will finish with a certain 9.
Take last year for example: Andujar and Stanton had a combined -0.6 fWAR last year in the starting lineup. That is when Tauchman and Urshela came along.
Yankee fans can be disappointed with the injuries, but it certainly does not mean the season is lost. This Yankee team without Hicks, Judge or Stanton still ranks as one of the better Yankee Opening Day teams over the last 10 years.
Featured Image: DR Buddie/Wikimedia Commons