28 Mar

pinstripe paranoia

If you hate the New York Yankees, you have to be cringing at the thought of what they might have in 2019. No major league team has ever hit more home runs than the Yankees did in 2018. They might hit more this season. The Yankees’ bullpen set a record for strikeouts in 2018. It might be even better this season. Yikes. A couple of Mississippi natives could be factors in both of those developments, as they were last year. Louisville’s Marcus Thames, a pretty fair slugger in his playing days, is the Yankees’ hitting coach. He gets to work every day with Aaron Judge, Mike Stanton, Gary Sanchez, et al., mostly the same bunch that belted 267 homers in 2018, with 12 guys hitting 10 or more. Some think 300 bombs is well within reach. “If we have a healthy Judge, a healthy Stanton and a healthy Sanchez, who knows what happens?” Thames recently told the New York Post. “I look forward to having them healthy and seeing it.” But is the Yankees’ power hitting even the best element of the team? “Their strength is their bullpen,” Boston manager Alex Cora told mlb.com. New York relievers, including Gulfport native – and Mississippi State career saves leader — Jonathan Holder, averaged 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings last season, and the team has added the intimidating Adam Ottavino to the mix. So, yes, that pen might be mightier still in 2019. “That’s a scary thought,” a rival scout told the New York Daily News. For Yankees haters, it is indeed.

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