Perspectives: Looking for (and Finding) the Good
by Paul Semendinger
October 24, 2021
The decisions has been made. Aaron Boone is back as the manager. In yesterday’s links, we shared an article (and we have many other times) that said that this was the right call.
It might be.
Whether it is or not will be determined over time.
Rather than writing a post looking for all that might be wrong with the 2022 Yankees, I decided to take the time to look for what should be good. Not surprising, I found a lot.
Here, then, is a partial rundown:
29 – The Yankees have enjoyed 29 consecutive winning seasons. That’s not nothing. Ask the fans of every other New York team if they’d like that level of success. The answer would be a resounding “YES!”
87 – (I know, I know, I said, I’d look for the good, but bear with me here.) Last week I stated that I saw the 2022 Yankees as an 87 win team. I’m not ready to move off that assessment, but an 87 win team would give the Yankees their 30th consecutive winning season. None of us would be happy with an 87 win team, but, if that’s the base win total number, it’s not a stretch to assume that with a bloop, a blast, and or an inch, or two, one way or another for the team to squeak by with a few extra wins. The Yankees have underperformed these last few years, maybe 2022 is the year that the bounces go the other way. Just one extra win a month, and an 87 win team could be a 94 win team and right in the thick of it.
.600(+) = 5 – Only five managers in Yankees history have a lifetime winning percentage of .600 or better over more than one season. Those five managers are Joe McCarthy (.627), Casey Stengel (.623), Bucky Harris (.620), Joe Torre (.605), and Aaron Boone (.601). Yes, Aaron Boone is in elite company. (Of note, Bucky Haris managed the Yankees for just two seasons.)
148 – Aaron Judge played in 148 games in 2021. That’s a great sign. If he plays in 145+ games a year, the Yankees are a better team. Maybe, just maybe, the injuries are behind him.
139 – Giancarlo Stanton played in 139 games in 2021. That’s also a great sign. The Yankees are a better team with Giancarlo Stanton in the lineup. Maybe, just maybe, the injuries are behind him.
Blake Takes The Cake – The Yankees pitching seemed to take a big step forward under the tutelage and philosophy of Matt Blake. If this continues, and it should, the Yankees will have a strong foundation for 2022 to build upon.
6 and 0 – Granted it was just six innings, but Luis Severino did return and he looked great. A 0.00 ERA over any amount of innings is a good start.
Cy 1 or Cy 2 – Gerrit Cole had a down year, or at least an inconsistent one, and he was still the best or second best starting pitcher in the league.
29 – Jameson Taillon made 29 starts. That’s a huge step forward. There were periods where he looked very good. Maybe, just maybe, the injuries are behind him.
97/56.1 – Aroldis Chapman had a down year and yet he struck out 97 batters in just over 56 innings. One would expect him to be better next year and the strikeouts per innings demonstrates that he has something (maybe a lot) left.
No .300, No 40, No 100 – The Yankees won 92 games in 2021 without a .300 hitter, without a guy who hit 40 homers, and without a player who even drove in 100 runs. That has to change in 2022, and when it does, that should mean more wins…right?
$$$ – There is the hope that the Yankees will use their superpower (cash) to bring in some new players to the team who will make the team better. Those 87 wins I predicted are with the current roster. Brian Cashman is a smart General Manager, and with financial backing, he could build a powerhouse in an instant.
Boom or Bust – Sometimes players struggle when they come to the Yankees. Joey Gallo certainly struggled. He is a better player than what he showed in 2021. I expect more BOOM and less bust in 2022.
2.17 – Jonathan Loaisiga has arrived as his nifty ERA attests.
30 – Jordan Montgomery made 30 starts. He took a big step forward. It’s likely he continues that progression in 2022.
4,029 – it’s been 4,029 days since the Yankees were last a World Series Champion. At some point, the natural order just has to kick in and put the Yankees back where they belong.
There are some great things in place to build on for 2022.
Let’s Go Yankees.