The Yankees had a disappointing 2023 season and need to make drastic changes in order to compete in next year.
For the first time since 2016, the New York Yankees missed the playoffs following a disappointing regular season. Despite winning 82 games and finishing over .500, it just wasn’t good enough for them to nab a playoff spot.
Frustration has also come to fruition for a fanbase that hasn’t seen this team make a World Series appearance in 14 years, ever since the opening of the new Yankee Stadium. Major changes need to come sooner rather than later.
The construction of the 2023 roster, filled mostly with veterans, played a part in this disappointing season. Journeyman veterans like 1B/OF Jake Bauers, 3B Josh Donaldson, and OF Billy McKinney were all involved in it.
What is next for New York as the 2023 offseason progresses? We need lots of answers moving forward.
One of the biggest weaknesses the front office needs to address this offseason is the starting pitching. Heading into the 2023 season, the Yankees were expected to have elite pitching throughout the year. But that wasn’t the case for this year’s team. Injuries and poor pitching performances have all contributed to their struggles this season. The staff as a whole finished 10th in ERA. Their biggest star of the rotation all year long was SP Gerrit Cole, who was outstanding. As a result of his hard work, Cole earned his first Cy Young award, becoming the first Yankee to do so since SP Roger Clemens back in 2001.
There were other pitchers that deserve some credit for their contribution to the rotation this season. One of them is SP Clarke Schmidt, who was solid for the most part of the season. Despite having an ERA over four, Schmidt proved to become a huge factor for the Yanks as they went through their highs and lows. His combination of cutter-slider-sweeping curve was what led him to seeing better results this year than last year. All proved to be effective pitches. Then there was SP/RP Michael King, who looked outstanding in the final remaining games of the season. In just eight starts, King posted an ERA of 1.88 with 48 strikeouts in just 38 1/3 innings pitched. This just shows the kind of impact King is capable of as he continues to make his case for a spot in the rotation for next season.
SP Carlos Rodon, newly signed Yankee for six years at $162M, did not make a good first impression. In his first full season in pinstripes, Rodon started just 14 games. This was due to injuries that has limited him in the past. But that doesn’t take away from his poorly pitched season.
Last but not least is SP Luis Severino. The 2023 season for Severino was a disastrous one. Though he did manage to throw 19 games for the Yankees this year for the second straight year after just appearing in just 7 games from 2019-2021, he plummeted to a 6.65 ERA.
The ability to rely on OF Aaron Judge all the time was an issue for the 2023 Yankees. As soon as the team learned about the “freaky” injury Judge suffered versus the Los Angeles Dodgers, the dynamic of the lineup wasn’t the same anymore. They had to rely on stars such as 1B Anthony Rizzo, 2B Gleyber Torres, and DH Giancarlo Stanton. Unfortunately, some of the stars were not making the case to carry on the workload. As a result, the Yankees finished with a record of 25-31 without Judge in the lineup. Additionally, they owned a batting average of .225 combined without him. That just shows how much of a difference maker Judge is to the lineup.
Unfortunately, general manager Brian Cashman decided to stay pat at the trade deadline even with Judge sidelined for a while. He stated that the team is “in to win” despite no major moves being made. That’s what made the team even worst. The veterans as mentioned earlier did not make a difference either. As the midseason got worse, the Yanks even had to make a change regarding the hitting coach duties. They hired MLB Network analyst Sean Casey as the interim hitting coach, replacing Dillon Lawson.
Despite the offensive struggles from the team, there were some positives takes from the team as September arrived. The call-ups of UTIL Everson Pereira, OF Jasson Dominguez, SS Oswald Peraza, and C Austin Wells all provided a spark, which was something the team needed for a while. The rookies rewarded the team in some positive ways by helping them get back to their winning ways. It will be exciting to see what these young kids bring to the table next season.
The Yankees definitely need a couple of left-handed batters in their lineup. Two of the biggest names that come to mind are OFs Cody Bellinger and Juan Soto, both of whom are linked to the Yanks. By acquiring these two stellar players, the Yankees may finally get over the hump of their 14-year World Series drought. It’s all on the front office if the Yankees want to make these splashy moves.
Starting pitching may also be an important need this offseason for the Yankees. After what happened to Rodon and the other pitchers in the rotation, the Yanks may need to considered going all in for another pitcher once again. The pitcher that solves this problem is NPB ace SP Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who will sign this offseason.