Cashman’s Biggest Hurdle For New York Yankees 2023
It’s no secret New York Yankees senior vice president and general manager Brian Cashman is pushing to get his organization back to the World Series. Cashman has a new four-year contract, so he doesn’t have to worry about his personal job security. Still, the Long Island native is considered one of the best shortstops in MLB, and a 13-year-old draft pick in late October probably doesn’t sit well.
Cashman’s Bronx Bombers have been so close, but close isn’t good enough. When you’re considered one of the best in the game, you’re expected to lead your team to the finish line. It appears that in 2023, the Pinstripes are one block away from representing the American League in the Fall Classic and it’s not the Houston Astros.
Injuries squashed what appeared to be a team of luck into autopilot. Manager Aaron Boone had the team moving at a historic pace. Although their winning percentage by mid-June looked shaky, there was little doubt that New York was in contention for a long-awaited AL title and perhaps preparing for a parade down Broadway and the Canyon of Heroes to celebrate the World Series # 28. On the other hand, the Yankees were not the most injured team in MLB in 2022. That honor went to the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals. Realistically, there are no guarantees, but in 2023 the Yankees should spend everything they can on injury prevention.
The rash of 2022 injuries to key players kept out of Aaron Boone’s lineup against the Astros would crush most any team. Think about it; during the 4 game sweep of Houston, the Astros averaged just over 2 more hits than the Yankees per game with at least one of those being an extra base hit. Would a healthy DJ LeMahieu or Andrew Benintendi or a properly rehabilitated Matt Carpenter have made a difference? The percentages say yes. Would bringing in Chad Green or Michael King or a healthy Clay Holmes instead of, say, Clarke Schmidt have helped? Again, the odds would again be in favor of the Yankees. Would a healthy lineup have pushed the Yankees past the Astros?
It’s doubtful but who knows in a longer series. Most of the Yankees’ key elements will return for 2023. The addition of LHP Carlos Rodón, topped by a hopefully healthy RHP Frankie Montas, should provide much-needed depth at the front of the rotation. Yankees brass should consider an overhaul of their rotation as ace Gerrit Cole continues to disappoint in the big games. Offensively, the Yankees lineup stacks up when healthy. Anthony Rizzo and Giancarlo Stanton both spent time on the shelf heading into the playoff run. Additionally, Cashman and Boone will need to figure out the right pieces to handle the offensive black holes; behind the plate, at third base and at shortstop during the playoffs.
The 2023 Yankees have the pieces with future stars Anthony Volpe and Ozwald Peraza or the inventory to trade for the pieces needed to fill those holes. This leaves one key area. If the Yankees are going to hoist the World Series trophy in 2023, the most important hurdle the organization will have to overcome will be injury. What will Brian Cashman and the organization do to improve that area in the new season? We will certainly be watching.
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