In the 2022 regular season, Aaron Judge hit 62 home runs — the most homers any New York Yankee has hit during the regular season in the franchise’s history. Will Judge match or surpass his historic 2022 regular season? Will the 2023 Major League Baseball season for the Yankees be only about Judge’s home runs or will the Yankees focus more on winning their first World Series since 2009?
As the Yankees get ready for the regular season with spring training at Steinbrenner Field, home of the Tampa Tarpons (the Yankees’ affiliate in the Florida State League), they are filling out their roster with players like shortstop prospect Anthony Volpe (sending down Oswald Peraza to Triple-A) and adding other promising players through trades. Volpe has been a hot topic. He will be starting on Opening Day and it remains to be seen how he will adjust to the big league environment.
However, the biggest question mark for the Yankees remains their pitching. Spring Training began with a starting rotation of ace Gerrit Cole, crafty lefty Nestor Cortés, Luis Severino, the newly-signed All-Star lefty Carlos Rodón, and injured righty Frankie Montas. Only 2022 All-Stars Cole and Cortes are left from the originally projected rotation. During the spring, Montas underwent shoulder surgery, Rodón went down with a left forearm strain, and Severino suffered a right lat strain. Even before his latest injury, Severino was having a tough spring with a 9.00 ERA while giving up six homers in only fifteen innings. Severino has been plagued with injury bug year after year, with his last healthy season coming back in 2018. There is no denying his talent, but will the Yankees need to make a move to get rid of Severino as a result of his inability to stay on the field? What about the injured Rodon and Montas? For the time being, Severino, Rodón, and Montas will be replaced by right-handers Clarke Schmidt, Domingo Germán, and Jhony Brito — a significant downgrade.
With the pitching rotation being a concern, baseball fans are skeptical as to how the Yankees will fare. However, it does seem hopeful that Rodon won’t be on the injured list for long, as it seems like he’ll be back in the rotation by the second or third week of April.
Despite the pitching injuries, the Yankee lineup is still strong. The lineup is led by power hitters outside of Judge, with Giancarlo Stanton and Anthony Rizzo who still have some pop left in their bat. Solid right-handed hitters DJ LeMahieu, Harrison Bader, 2022 All-Star Jose Trevino and Gleyber Torres will also contribute in the batter’s box. Utility player Oswald Cabrera is also an exciting up-and-coming star who debuted at the end of last season to much fanfare.
Historically, the issue for the Yankees hasn’t been being able to get into the playoffs but to make it to the World Series. Will they get that far this year? Only one way to find out… play ball!