Starting in 2023, teams will play five fewer games against every opponent in the division. The change should provide a boost for the Orioles as they look to climb their way out of the cellar in the Middle East. Unfortunately, Baltimore will still face the Yankees 19 times this season. So what should we expect from Bronx bombers?
The Yankees won 92 games last year, but still finished eight games behind. New York dropped a wild card single at Fenway after Gerrit Cole coughed up multiple people in less than three innings. The Mets may have temporarily seized the title of New York’s biggest spender, but the Yankees still retooled enough to take another shot at the division crown.
addition and subtraction operations
The Yankees haven’t broken the bank with a major free agent this season, but they did bring back Anthony Rizzo after getting a first baseman at the deadline last year. New York has signed Rizzo to a two-year, $32 million deal, and the former cub should be sliding nicely at first base.
New York beefs up the field with a surprise deal with the Twins. The Yankees acquired three-time All Star Josh Donaldson, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and backup catcher Ben Rortvedt in a trade that sent Gary Sanchez and Gio Orchilla to Minnesota. It’s always nice to get a former MVP in the league, and this move sure shakes things up. The deal marks a disappointing end for Sanchez in New York, but he and Orchilla will have a chance at success with the twins.
With the addition of Rizzo and Donaldson, the Yankees had some long jams at first base. They solved the problem by shipping Luke Voit to San Diego for Minor League Justin Lang. Foyt led the league in the 2020 season short, but the Yankees weren’t happy with his production last season.
Cersei Gerrit Cole and his nine-year, $324 million contract are once again beginning the rotation with a few question marks. Cole posted a 16-8 record, 3.23 ERA and 1.059 WHIP last season. It’s hard for any player to fulfill a deal with an average annual worth of $36 million, but the Yankees know what to expect from Cole. He shrugged off a few mistakes last season, but didn’t make it into a wild card game.
Jordan Montgomery would likely lunge past Cole to be top left in the turn. Louis Severino is back from Tommy John surgery, and Jameson Tellon should be ready to have ankle surgery off-season. Nestor Cortes Jr. will likely exit the five-man group. The Yankees recently placed Domingo German on the 60-day injured list for a sore shoulder.
Flamethrower Aroldis Chapman looks poised to be a cornerstone of the Yankees bullpen for another season, but the closer may not always take the mound in the ninth inning. Chapman recently told reporters that he would appear in some games in the eighth inning. Skipper Aaron Boone said the move should help keep Chapman fresh all year long. Chapman allowed 14 of his 21 points earned over nine games between June and July last season.
Our old friend
dreamcatcher Zach Brayton may miss all of 2022 after undergoing Tommy John surgery last September. However, the 34-year-old has not ruled out a return this season. It looks like a group of Chad Greene, Jonathan Loaziga, Clay Holmes, and Andy Peralta are on their way to Chapman’s suite. The Yankees recently signed Shelby Miller to a minor league deal after the 31-year-old struggled last season.
Simply put, there isn’t much easy here. Sloths Aaron Judge’s
Mike Giancarlo Stanton returns with Rizzo and Joey Gallo. Donaldson hasn’t been named an All Star since 2016, but he still chipped .247/.352/.475 while hitting 26 homers and driving in 76 home runs.
Kiner-Falefa doesn’t deliver much pop, but he did hit . 272 last season. Gleyber Torres only counted nine batters last year, but managed to hit . 339 in 16 games against the Orioles. There may not be a lot of speed – just ask Voight – but the racquet can hit the ball hard.
Voit’s departure opens up a full-time spot for Rizzo at first base. Donaldson should take third, while Torres and Kenner Valeva play center. Outside duties are to be handled by Judge, Gallo, and Aaron Hicks, while Stanton serves as the designated hitter.
DJ LeMahieu and Miguel Andújar provide defensive finesse off the bench. Kyle Higashioka and Rotvedt seem to be the favorites behind the plate, but Max McDowell’s defense is valued by Boone.
The Yankees’ dedication to adding senior bats to the lineup can be traced back to their bite defensively. It is not clear how often Stanton will be required to play outfield and if Aaron Judge will be second choice in midfield. Donaldson has some miles at third base, and Torres has had to play out of position before.
Sportswriters Kings: Over/Under 91.5 wins, +195 for Middle East wins, +900 for World Series wins.