New York Yankees Last Season Performance
The New York Yankees enjoyed a successful 92 win season in 2021. Despite finishing eight games behind first-place Tampa Bay, the Yankees finished the year tied with the Red Sox for second place in the AL East which ultimately led to an AL Wild Card berth.
But New York went on to fall in the Wild Card Game and their World Series aspirations fell by the wayside. It was a disappointing ending for an organization that prides themselves on winning championships. However, the Yankees have only one World Series Title to their credit over the course of the past 20 years.
The Yankees were once again led by a strong offensive performance in 2021. Aaron Judge led the team with 39 home runs to go along with a productive .287/.373/.544 line. Giancarlo Stanton was able to stay healthy for the most part and hit 35 home runs and posted a .273/.354/.516.
The duo makes for one of the best power-hitting combos in all of baseball.
While the Yankees were still able to hit home runs, they labored from a batting average standpoint. New York ended the campaign with a team batting average of .237 which ranked 23rd in the MLB. Judge led the team with his mark of .287, and Stanton was second at .273.
Nobody else was able to get over the .270 mark, and only three others posted averages over .250.
On the other hand, the Yankees placed sixth in total home runs with 222. They also ranked sixth in total team strikeouts with a mark of 1,482.
To sum all of this up, New York’s lineup was a boom or bust group in 2021. They were either hitting home runs or striking out. Additionally, they led the majors in walks. The Yankees tended to earn one of the three true outcomes in most of their at-bats.
This led to a plentiful amount of solo home runs but RBI’s were difficult to come by. Failing to get base hits also makes it difficult to start rallies.
The Yankees three best starting pitchers in 2021 were Gerrit Cole, Jordan Montgomery, and… Nestor Cortes? Yes, Cortes was the unsung hero in the Yankee rotation last year. The 26-year-old left-hander posted a 2.90 ERA in 14 starts and 22 games overall at the big league level.
Despite not being overpowering, Cortes was able to paint the corners and keep hitters off-balance.
But the team’s best pitcher was Cole. Cole posted a 3.28 ERA and struck out 243 batters over the course of 181.1 innings pitched. The superstar dealt with some underwhelming performances in 2021, but he also dominated in some big games for the Yankees.
Finally, Montgomery was solid with a 3.83 ERA over 30 starts in 2021.
The Yankees were unhappy with the final result of 2021, but it was a quality regular season for the most part in New York. But they will look to make a deeper postseason run in 2022.
New York Yankees Off-Season Changes
The Yankees were one of a few teams linked to Corey Seager and Carlos Correa earlier in the offseason. The team is open to bringing in a star shortstop, but Seager is now off the table after signing a deal with the Texas Rangers. Correa still could be a fit for the team, but Trevor Story may also be a cheaper option.
The Yankees are known for typically making waves in the free-agent market, but they had a relatively quiet offseason up until the MLB lockout began. They are counting on offensive players such as D.J. LeMahieu to bounce back.
The Yankees also made history earlier this season, as they hired Rachel Balkovec as the head coach for the Yankees Low-A minor league team. Balkovec is now the first woman to ever manage an affiliated minor league baseball team.
New York Yankees Key Additions
Most news when it comes to roster additions so far for the Yankees has stemmed from the rumor mill. The team has not made any season-changing additions for the most part. But they have made some minor moves worth mentioning.
The Yankees signed Gio Urshela to a contract and avoided arbitration with the sure-handed infielder. Urshela hit .267 with 14 home runs in 2021. He is also a versatile infielder who can play multiple positions at an extremely high level.
One under-the-radar move which could pay dividends in 2022 is the signing of former Atlanta Braves outfielder Ender Inciarte. Inciarte is a former all-star and three-time Gold Glove award winner who only played in 52 total games last season. But he is still just 31 years old and could be a valuable fourth outfielder on the roster in New York.
Inciarte should also benefit from the short porch in the right field since he bats on the left side.
New York also signed 30-year-old Jimmy Cordero to a minor league contract. He is a relief pitcher with a very capable arm. His most productive season came back in 2019 with the White Sox, as he posted a 275 ERA over 30 games with Chicago.
Although the Yankees already have a good bullpen, adding depth never hurts especially if injuries become a factor as the season rolls along.
New York Yankees Key Subtractions
The Yankees saw a number of significant pieces enter free agency during the offseason.
First baseman Anthony Rizzo was acquired at the trade deadline in July, and there were questions about his future in New York. Rizzo hit just under .250 with the Yankees and blasted eight home runs over 49 games played with the team. While his production may have been a bit less than what the Yankees were expecting, New York may consider re-signing the veteran first baseman once the lockout comes to an end.
RHP Corey Kluber had not pitched since 2019 with Cleveland when he signed a one-year contract with the Yankees last offseason. Kluber had missed all of 2020 with an injury and never threw a pitch with the Texas Rangers despite technically being a member of the organization during the 2020 campaign.
Kluber dealt with more injury trouble in New York but was able to start 16 games for the Yankees where he pitched to the tune of a 3.83 ERA while striking out 82 batters. Although his stats were a far cry from his Cy Young days in Cleveland, Kluber showed he could still be a reliable pitcher at the big league level.
He signed a one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Rays earlier in the offseason.
LHP Andrew Heaney became a free agent after struggling mightily following his trade from the Angeles to the Yankees in 2021.
Rougned Odor and Clint Frazier were both designated for assignment and ultimately released after they cleared waivers. Frazier was once regarded as one of the top prospects in baseball, but he never found his rhythm in New York.
The rest of the Yankees roster is still intact for the most part as we prepare for 2022. But the departure of some of these players could negatively affect the Yankees this season.
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New York Yankees Head Coach Analysis
For Aaron Boone, his time as head coach of the Yankees has truly been a tale of two stories.
Despite only winning the division once in four years as manager, Boone has led the Yankees to the playoffs in each of those seasons and has compiled a 328-218 (.601 winning percentage) regular-season record. He has arguably seen the most consistent success during the regular season of almost any other head coach during that time span.
But the postseason results have been a completely different story.
Boone took the Yankees as far as the ALCS before losing to the Astros back in 2019. New York lost in the ALDS in both 2018 and 2020, and they of course lost in the WIld Card Game against Boston in 2021. For some managers, consistently making the playoffs may be enough.
But for the head coach of the Yankees, the only acceptable result according to the media and the fanbase is winning the World Series. Anything less than that is going to be considered a failure. It does not matter what your career win-loss record is.
For that reason, Boone’s job was in jeopardy following the Wild Card loss this past year. However, the Yankees decided to keep him guiding the ship for at least one more season. But the pressure is on for Boone as he prepares to enter his fifth season as the manager of the Yankees.
New York Yankees Injured Players at the Beginning of the Season
The Yankees have a number of significant injuries coming into 2022.
Zach Britton is expected to be out until August as he recovers from elbow surgery. The left-hander’s absence certainly leaves a glaring hole in the bullpen.
Starting pitcher Jameson Taillon underwent ankle surgery during the offseason and is expected to miss the early portion of the 2022 campaign. The earliest return date which has been provided for Tailon is April. He dealt with an inconsistent season in 2021, but Tailon has displayed star-like potential in the past.
Other players who are listed as probable for the beginning of the upcoming season include D.J. LeMahieu and Aaron Hicks. But both players are expected to be ready to go for Spring Training.
New York is hopeful that their roster can stay mostly healthy in 2022 and avoid any major injuries.
New York Yankees Prediction for 2022 Season
The Yankees play in the best division in baseball. Last year, four of the five American League East teams finished with records over the 90-win mark. All four of those teams are expected to contend yet again in 2022 so the Yankees will need to play up to their full potential if they have realistic aspirations of winning the division.
New York features one of the best bullpens in all of baseball. In fact, their bullpen may be their greatest strength.
Aroldis Chapman continues to lead the way as a fireball closer. Chad Green and Jonathan Loaisiga will both pitch in late-inning situations as well in 2022.
The lineup could use a few extra additions, but the Yankees are banking on bounce-back seasons from stars who struggled last year.
First baseman Luke Voit was injured for a good amount of time in 2021, and the Yankees believe he can get back to smashing home runs this season. They also believe that mid-season acquisition Joey Gallo can find his footing in New York as he prepares to play a full season with the Bronx Bombers.
LeMahieu is also somebody to keep an eye on. The veteran infielder was one of the best hitters in baseball through the 2020 season but labored in 2021. He is someone who might be in store for a rebound season.
And the starting rotation has some question marks but is overall rather impressive. I would like to see the Yankees add one or two more starting pitchers if possible, but the rotation should be okay in 2022.
I believe the New York Yankees will finish in second or third place in the AL East in 2022. They should be able to sneak into the Wild Card game again, but teams like the Rays and Blue Jays will make it difficult for them to capture the division and their MLB Odds.
New York Yankees Final Thoughts
The Yankees could end up winning the division and nobody would be shocked (even their MLB Lines). But Tampa Bay has been able to defeat them on a consistent basis over the past few years and the young Blue Jays are beginning to hit their prime years.
Nonetheless, it should be another year of winning baseball in New York.
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