Cashman’s Biggest Hurdle For New York Yankees 2023
It's no secret, New York Yankees senior VP and general manager, Brian Cashman is pressing to get his organization back to the World Series. Cashman has a brand new four-year contract, so he isn't worried about his personal job security. However, the Long Island native is considered one of the best executives in MLB and a 13-year late October draught probably doesn't sit well.
Cashman's Bronx Bombers have been so close, but close isn't good enough. When you are considered one of the best in the game, you are expected to get your team to the finish line. It appears that in 2023, the Pinstripes are one hurdle away from representing the American League in the Fall Classic and it's not the Houston Astros.
Injuries crushed what seemed to be a destiny team on autopilot. Manager Aaron Boone had the team rolling at a historic pace. Though their winning percentage through mid-June seemed unsustainable, there was little doubt New York was laying claim to a long awaited AL title and probably preparing for a parade along Broadway and the "Canyon of Heroes" to celebrate World Championship #28. On the other hand, the Yankees weren't 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 need to spend whatever they can on injury prevention.
2022's rash of injuries to key players kept out of Aaron Boone's lineup vs. the Astros, would crush most any team. Think about this; over the 4 game Houston sweep, the Astros averaged just over 2 more hits than the Yankees per game with at least one of them being an extra base hit. Would a healthy DJ LeMahieu or Andrew Benintendi or a properly rehabbed Matt Carpenter have made a difference? Percentages say, yes. Would bringing in Chad Green or Michael King or a healthy Clay Holmes out of the bullpen instead of, say, Clarke Schmidt have helped? Again, percentages again would be in the Yankees favor. Would a healthy line-up have propelled 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, on top of a hopefully a healthy RHP Frankie Montas, should provide needed depth in the front of the rotation. The Yankees brass has to consider a shuffle of their rotation, as ace Gerrit Cole continues to disappoint in big games. Offensively, the Yankees line-up is stacked when healthy. Anthony Rizzo and Giancarlo Stanton both spent time on the shelf heading into the playoff run. In addition, Cashman and Boone will need to figure out the right pieces to address 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 that are needed to fill those holes. That 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 the injury-bug. What will Brian Cashman and the organization do to improve that area in the new season? We will certainly be watching.