February 25, 2021

American League East X factors for 2020 (Baseball Essential)

What players can move the needle for their respective teams in the 2020 Major League Baseball season? Here are X factors for every team in the American League East.

New York Yankees: J.A. Happ

Luis Severino will miss 2020 due to a forearm injury, and James Paxton recently underwent back surgery. The Yankees need someone to step up on the pitching front, and Happ is candidate number one to do as such.

Last season was a shaky trail for the veteran left-hander. Albeit he settled down a bit in the final stages of the regular season, Happ struggled immensely for the bulk of 2019. He struggled to get his fastball over the plate and deceive hitters with his off-speed deliveries. He recorded a 4.91 ERA while surrendering a career-high 34 home runs.

Gerrit Cole is one of the best pitchers in baseball, and Masahiro Tanaka is a proven commodity, but the two aren’t enough to provide stability to the Yankees rotation. Happ is a proven ground-ball pitcher. He sports a career 3.99 ERA, can catch hitters off-balanced, and is capable of being a steady force in a team’s rotation. Happ’s ability to bounce back from a turbulent campaign is pivotal.

Tampa Bay Rays: Willy Adames

The Rays added…

Read “American League East X factors for 2020” at Baseball Essential