The 2023 New York Yankees have been flat-out bad. After a decent start, the tides have turned, and they now face the possibility of having their first losing season in over 30 years. However, while the playoffs don’t seem to be in the cards this year, Yankees fans still have some reason to be optimistic. Let’s look at the main three reasons fans should still be tuning into Yankee games.
3 reasons Yankee fans should still be watching this team:
1. The kids are up!
Much discourse has gone around about the Yankees’ failure to develop good players in the last five years. After two straight sweeps at the hands of Atlanta and Boston, the Yanks have turned to the minors, calling up outfielder Everson Pereira and infielder Oswald Peraza.
Peraza started an ALCS game last year and has received high praise for his glove, but his bat has been good in AAA this year as well, going for a .268/.357/.479 slash line and a .836 OPS. Manager Aaron Boone said in an interview that he will primarily be playing at third base, giving Yankee fans an opportunity to see what could be their left side of the infield for many years to come in Peraza and shortstop Anthony Volpe.
Pereira’s MLB debut was Tuesday, and he comes up at a position the Yankees desperately need help at in left field. He’s been exceptional this year, posting a .908 and .937 OPS in AA and AAA. Other than those two, Austin Wells and Jasson Dominguez are two other top prospects that are getting closer and closer to their debut in the Bronx. It’s an exciting youth movement for a team that needs it.
2. Cole’s Hardware Chase
Gerrit Cole has seen ups and downs since he signed a massive free-agent contract with the Yankees in 2020, with the ups coming more often. After he was removed early in the Yanks’ 2021 Wild Card loss to the Boston Red Sox, he took a step back in 2022, only posting a 111 ERA+.
2023 has seen a return to Cole’s peak form, as he’s been absolutely incredible, which led to him receiving his first All-Star game start in July. He’s been pitching to contact more, as he’s posting his lowest strikeout numbers since his Pittsburgh Pirates days, but it’s working out for him as his ERA is currently at 3.03. Cole is also on pace to set a career-high in innings pitched, further showing that he is one of the few players the Yankees have been able to rely on this year.
His outstanding season had made him the favorite to win the AL Cy Young before his last start, where the Red Sox gave him a little trouble, so it will be interesting to see for Yankee fans if Cole can claim his first-ever Cy Young to boost his illustrious career.
3. Decisions, decisions
On Opening Day next year, New York will almost assuredly be running out a different lineup after the failure of 2023. That means that some players will be playing for their Bronx future. Those players include Luis Severino, who has been awful this year after being a very consistent option for New York in years prior, Harrison Bader, who has been a below-average hitter to go along with great fielding but has shown up in the clutch, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who has rebounded strongly after a rough first year in the Bronx.
Also under scrutiny will be Gleyber Torres, whose name has been thrown around in many trade rumors, and Clay Holmes, who has been a stud reliever since his acquisition from Pittsburgh, as they will both have 1 year left on their contract after 2023. Torres has been criticized for effort issues recently and Holmes has blown some games late, which could make the front office more likely to move them.
Josh Donaldson and Frankie Montas could also make late comebacks, but it is a long shot they will appear again in the pinstripes after this year. The Yankees front office has some decisions to make, and the ending to 2023 could help color their thinking.