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Colt Chronicle

The Student News Site of Kinnelon High School

Colt Chronicle

The Student News Site of Kinnelon High School

Colt Chronicle

Hopes are High for the Yankees’ 2023 Season

Considering the high payroll and star-studded lineup, many fans have high expectations for the Yankees’ 2023 season.
The Yankees’ home ballpark on a sunny day. Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

Considering the Yankees failed to win it all last season, can a minimally altered lineup that is one year older succeed in the ultimate goal of bringing home the Yankees’ 28th World Series Championship?

The 2023 New York Yankees are not incredibly different from last year’s lineup. Two of the largest free agent acquisitions were retaining Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo. The only major addition, Carlos Rodon, is yet to make a start this year. 

The Yankees were a very strong team last year accruing 99 wins and leading the American League East while skipping the Wild Card round and beating the Cleveland Guardians in the American League Division Series. Alas, they were stopped by the perennial American League powerhouse of the last half decade: the Houston Astros. The Yankees’ ability to overcome the Astros in the postseason will define the success of this season as it has characterized the failures of the team over the past several years. 

The starting lineup for the Yankees this year seems to be an impressive mix of defensive versatility and ability with the bat. Across the infield at first, second, and third base the Yankees have proven veterans Anthony Rizzo, Gleyber Torres, and DJ Lemahieu who have a track record of success with the bat and Gold-Glove-caliber defense. 

The most interesting addition to the infield is the promotion of top prospect Anthony Volpe. Lauded as the shortstop of the future for the New York Yankees, and often compared to Derek Jeter, only time will tell if he can live up to the praise heaped upon him. Early season metrics show promising results, and his 103 OPS+ means he is 3% above league average hitting to start the season.

The outfield rounds out the lineup with reigning Most Valuable Player Aaron Judge in right, and occasionally center, field. He is a known commodity who will likely bring the most power and production to the lineup. Along with the oft-injured Giancarlo Stanton, they should provide a potent pairing in the middle of the batting order. Harrison Bader profiles as the team’s center fielder. He should remain an outstanding fielder in center field, where he has already won a gold glove, but has yet to show any ability to hit at an above league average level. 

One of the biggest holes in the Yankee lineup is left field. Giancarlo Stanton, while competent defensively, is too often injured to be counted on in the outfield on a consistent basis. So, the Yankees have cycled through a rotation of Oswaldo Cabrera, Franchy Cordero, Isaiah Kiner-Falefa, and Aaron Hicks in different outfield spots to try and cover the gap. Unfortunately, every one of those options has struggled offensively to begin the season and a solution in left field looks most likely to come later in the season through a trade.

The pitching staff of the Yankees this year will be in great shape once the starting rotation gets healthy. Gerrit Cole is the Yankees’ number one starting pitcher and has started his season as such. With a 1.11 Earned Run Average (ERA) and a league-leading 5 wins, he has started the season off impressively and is looking to continue his dominance as the season progresses. 

The number two and three starters, Carlos Rodon and Luis Severino, have been injured to start the season, but both have long track records of success that should be able to bolster the team tremendously if they can stay off the injured list. 

The fourth starter, who is a strong enough player to have earned an All-Star nod last year, is Nestor Cortes. The Cuban lefty has shown for over two seasons now that despite his average velocity, he generates soft contact and continues to have success. The final spot in the rotation is contested between Domingo German and Clarke Schimdt. Both are solid options but given Schmidt’s rocky start to the season, German may have won the job once Rodon and Severino return.

The Yankees bullpen is adequate this year but does not hold the same caliber of big name relievers it has in the past. Clay Holmes is an outstanding closer and a mixture of Michael King and Wandy Peralta in the set up role is a great way to lock down the later innings of a close game. But ultimately, with the departures of Zack Britton, Aroldis Chapman, and Adam Ottavino, the bullpen lacks the star power it once had. Nonetheless, the bullpen arms have pitched very well when called upon and remain a strength for this year’s Yankees team.

All facets of the team considered, it is likely that the Yankees will have another impressive season where they make the playoffs. Once they are in the playoffs, the addition of Carlos Rodon and a speedy new infielder in Anthony Volpe could be enough to push them over the edge to finally capture World Series number 28. The team profiles as a very potent offense with a pitching staff to keep other teams at bay, but the baseball season is long and can be derailed by untimely injuries, age-related decline, and underperformance. For now, though, there is plenty of reason to be optimistic about the Yankees prospects as the 2023 season goes on.

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