Murti: As Yankees' Injuries Mount, Soft Schedule Is No Silver Lining For Boone

Sweeny Murti
March 21, 2019 - 11:46 am
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The Yankees are starting the season with Luis Severino, CC Sabathia, Dellin Betances and Aaron Hicks on the injured list, and now there's some concern about Greg Bird.

Oh, and I forgot Didi Gregorius, but at least you knew his situation going into camp.

The Yankees are taking a conservative approach with Severino and just saying May as a return date, while Hicks, Betances and Sabathia should all be back sometime in the first month barring any setbacks.

How big a hit the Yankees are taking in the early going is still unknown. One idea that is tempting is to look at the schedule. And while there are three games in Houston April 8-10 and two with Boston April 16-17, there are an awful lot of potentially awful opponents over the first three weeks of the season, including six with Baltimore, three with Detroit, three with the Chicago White Sox and four with Kansas City. Those last four teams combined for 417 losses last season and didn’t get appreciably better in the offseason.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone
USA TODAY Images

Does Yankees manager Aaron Boone ever think of his schedule in those terms? I knew the answer, but I asked anyway. 

“No. Hell no,” he said. “I hate that.”

OK, but I’m glad I asked. He explained further.

Related:

“It’s hard to win games in this league,” Boone said. “(If) you don’t play well, you usually don’t win.  Our job is to be ready, ready to rock every single day. And our guys are really good at that. So I don’t worry about our focus and our frame of mind and our intent every day, but I don’t get caught up in (the schedule) at all.

“I look at every day as a matchup that anyone is certainly capable of beating us or having a good day ... if we don’t bring it, if we don’t play well, so I hate starting to look at that stuff,” Boone concluded.

To Boone’s point, the Yankees that won 100 games last year did manage to lose 14 times to the Orioles, Tigers, White Sox and Royals. 

I have a running joke with some other friends in the media in which I like to go over the Yankees’ schedule the way Mike and the Mad Dog used to do with the NFL schedules for the Giants and Jets.  Imagine it going something like this:

Dog: “Aug. 12 vs. Baltimore?”

Mike:  “That’s a win.”

Dog: “Aug. 13 vs. Baltimore?”

Mike:  “Win.”

Dog:  “Aug. 14 vs. Baltimore?”

Mike:  (Deep breath) “Win.”

Dog:  “Wowwww! Aug. 15 vs. Cleveland?”

Mike:  “Is that Kluber? That’s probably Kluber. That’s a loss.”

Dog:  “Aug. 16 vs. Cleveland?”

Mike: (Deep breath) (Another deep breath) “Win.”

Well, you get the idea. Only it’s a lot harder to do in baseball than it is in football, where they like to tell us anyone can beat anyone “on any given Sunday.”

The Yankees could very well benefit from a soft April schedule, but it’s not something Boone wants anyone on or around the Yankees to be thinking about.

Follow Sweeny on Twitter at @YankeesWFAN