The New York Yankees have officially been eliminated from postseason baseball for the 2023 season following their loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday. Unofficially, the season has been over for a long time, and we have just been waiting for the inevitable. There is no hiding the fact that the Yankees have greatly disappointed in 2023. Fans have called for the firings of either general manager Brian Cashman or manager Aaron Boone … or both. Ownership has come under fire for their perceived lack of commitment to winning, choosing to focus on ensuring the team is turning a profit.
New York Yankees: The offense in 2023
Aaron Judge was resigned for a huge $360 million extension, and promptly missed two months in the middle of the season due to a freak toe injury. Still, Judge proved to be the best hitter on the team, bashing 35 home runs and producing 4.1 bWAR.
Giancarlo Stanton and Anthony Rizzo, who were supposed to supplement Judge in the middle of the lineup, both have disappointed in different ways. Stanton has hit under .200 despite his 24 home runs, and Rizzo’s production plummeted following a collision with Fernando Tatis, Jr. and subsequent misdiagnosis. Gleyber Torres has been solid, hitting 25 home runs and stealing 13 bases, but his baserunning and fielding gaffes have frustrated the fanbase.
Rookie Anthony Volpe provides some hope for the future, displaying power with 21 home runs, and speed with 24 stolen bases, which leads the team. Volpe should also be a strong candidate for a Gold Glove at shortstop, as his range grades out as comfortably above-average. Meanwhile, DJ LeMahieu has rebounded in the last month or so, but still has not matched his production from 2019-2020.
Catcher and left field have been issues the whole season, and the problems began with Cashman’s commitment to Aaron Hicks at the beginning of the season. Hicks hit below .200 in his final work with the Yankees before being released in May. Hicks has revived his career in Baltimore, hitting .289 with 15 extra-base hits in 60 games. Could this be a poor mark on the Yankees and their coaching staff? Maybe, but chalk this one up to a change of scenery. Austin Wells has not hit the ground running in his audition for the catching job, hitting below .200, although his framing and throwing have been fine. Everson Pereira has hit .143 in 70 at-bats, failing to grab hold of the left field job in 2024. Amid all the hype of prospectdom, Jasson Dominguez debuted and wowed, hitting .258 with four home runs in just eight games before undergoing Tommy John surgery. Dominguez may be back around mid-season, and should be given every opportunity to lock down center field for the next six or seven years.
New York Yankees: The pitching in 2023
In short, everything that can go wrong has gone wrong for the Yankees this season. First, their prized offseason acquisition, Carlos Rodon, missed three months of the season, before returning and underwhelming in his 12 starts. Nestor Cortes made just 12 starts in between injuries, and is likely finished for the season. Even when healthy, Cortes failed to match his 2022 production, but much can be attributed to his poor health. Despite a perfect game, Domingo German was pretty average in his 20 games, and his time with the Yankees will likely come to an end amid more personal issues. Luis Severino made 18 starts, and was awful for most of the season before an oblique injury likely ended his Yankees’ tenure. Clarke Schmidt initial foray into the starting rotation has been a mixed bag, culminating in a 4.65 ERA with 143 strikeouts in 151.0 innings.
The good news is Gerrit Cole has been one of the best pitchers in all of baseball this year. With one start remaining, Cole has already fired 200 innings, with a 2.75 ERA, 217 strikeouts, and an inside track on the AL Cy Young.
Meanwhile, the bullpen has largely performed as expected, and despite periods of inconsistency, Clay Holmes has proven worthy of the closer’s role. Cashman has a strong track record of finding bullpen pieces, and has built a top level group this season.
Here is the good news, by and large, the pieces are in place for a dominant team. Judge looks like himself when healthy, and Gerrit Cole can anchor any rotation in baseball. The upper level depth of the minor leagues is strong, which can keep the team in contention even with injuries like this season. Cashman can usually assemble a strong bullpen, and pitching coach Matt Blake is one of the best in the business.
Now, Brian Cashman and Aaron Boone will likely be back in their same roles next season, barring anything dramatic from Hal Steinbrenner. Steinbrenner does not take change lightly, as the Yankees have had just two managers since Joe Torre left after the 2007 season. No huge overhaul is needed, but there are definitely tweaks needed to be made in order to insure there is no repeat of 2023 in 2024.