The Tuesday Discussion: Hope or No Hope?
September 6, 2022
This week we asked the writers:
Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the 2022 Yankees and their chance to win the World Series? Please explain (in short).
Here are their answers...
James Vlietstra - My optimism hasn’t wavered even as the team has played below .500 for over 2 months now. That’s why you build up such a big lead.
However, I don’t think they can just flip a switch and their offense learns how to score runs.
They need to have more than just Aaron Judge swinging a hot bat. LeMahieu, Stanton, Rizzo, Torres, Donaldson, and (hopefully) Carpenter need to provide some protection.
Playoffs are typically won by the pitchers. German has been great. Montas finally had a good outing. Cortes and Severino are returning. Cole is supposed to be their ace. In the bullpen, Rumor has it Deivi Garcia may be an option. Loasiga and Holmes have returned to form. Marinaccio, Luetge, and Peralta have been doing well.
This is a team that would not surprise me if they were eliminated in the first round or if they hoisted the trophy as the World Series winner. Very broad possibility, which makes playoff baseball so much fun.
Cary Greene - I'm neither optimistic nor pessimistic, but instead I'm kind of in the middle, caught between the enormous amount of negativity surrounding the Yankees right now but feeling buoyed by some of the winning streaks that this team is capable of. Not only this season but we saw it last season as well, the Yankees can reel off 10 in a row out of nowhere. In fact, right after they lose 10 in a row so I really believe it's just a matter of flipping a switch and getting hot.
A lot has to do with the return of Matt Carpenter and If Stanton can somehow get right and perhaps LeMahieu as well, then suddenly the Yankees are back to scoring. Five runs a game and with their pitching staff that may be good enough to accomplish a World Series championship.
It's been a very rough couple of months in the Bronx!
Lincoln Mitchell - I am by disposition, culture and probably genetics a pessimist, so I always start from that perspective. My sense is that this Yankees team was excellent when it was hitting on all cylinders in May and June, but the organization has been appallingly unable to adapt. For this team to play deep into October they need 1) Matt Carpenter to get back to where he was before he got hurt; 2) either Peraza or Cabrera to get hot and provide not just spark, but real offense; 3) Severino to come back and be an impact starter or a force out of the bullpen; 4) two of the Torres, Stanton, LeMahieu, Donaldson group to start hitting. If they do three or four of those things, they will be in good shape. If they do fewer than two they October will be ugly. If only two of those things happen, it will be interesting.
Paul Semendinger - I am usually an optimist. That being said, I am not optimistic about these Yankees. They will not win the World Series. As I have written, they don't seem to have a cohesive plan. They make things up as they go along. They seek to rest players, like Judge, and then turn around and play him in centerfield so that players like Tim Locastro, Aaron Hicks, and Marwin Gonzalez can get playing time at the expense of a younger player like Estevan Florial (who can't be worse than them) and who would allow them to keep Judge in right field. Then they call up their hotshot shortstop prospect and assign him to the bench. I don't believe Aaron Boone has the skills to outmanage other managers, especially in big games. There are also far too many players who just simply cannot hit.
Ed Botti - I have not been bullish on the 2022 Yankees since the lockout ended. I feel that they had a disappointing offseason and that they are not built in a way to win it all, and I believe they weakened themselves, instead of strengthening themselves, at the trade deadline.
What are my biggest issues with this team?
IKF is not a shortstop. Donaldson’s best years are long behind him. They never addressed centerfield. Regardless of how much $ he makes, they do not have an actual Ace to go up against the best pitchers and lineups in baseball. They went into the season with Chapman as the closer, and he has regressed even further. Their bench is weak, and most of all, they do not possess a post season offensive approach.
Yes, they have injuries. All teams have injuries, the Yankees are no different, so Injuries are not an excuse.
This team was built for ratings not a championship.
I hope I am wrong, but I wrote this in March and I stand by it in September.
Derek McAdam - While I don’t want to be, I’m extremely pessimistic about the Yankees winning the World Series. They’ve become too reliant on hitting home runs, which is not going to work against teams such as Houston or Tampa Bay. The pitching has been iffy, and there seems to be no consistency on the team, except for Aaron Judge. Even with a healthy lineup, I do not believe this current team is even capable of making it to the World Series.
Mike Whiteman - As a fan and as a student of baseball history, I continue to be optimistic about the Yankees this year. For all of the frustration with the journey to get to this point, the team:
1. Has a .600 winning percentage
2. Has a nice lead in the AL East
3. Pencils the best player in baseball in the lineup every day
This is baseball. Anything can happen. And if you look at the history of the sport, you realize that anything has happened. For all of the Yanks' recent stumbles, they sit in a place today that makes most MLB teams envious.
This doesn't mean I'm oblivious to the rotten baseball they have played since the All-Star break. That doesn't mean I have no concerns. I urgently hope they can pull together a functioning bullpen with the limited time left in the season.
Alas, it does me no good to worry about a collapse that has yet to happen. I'm all in. Go Yankees!
Tim Kabel - I am neither optimistic nor pessimistic. I am realistic and pragmatic. I do not believe the Yankees will win the World Series this year. Even if they overcame their myriad injuries and offensive malaise, they would still have to deal with the presence of Aaron Boone, who has a remarkable ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. It’s just not possible.
Ethan Semendinger - T he Yankees will not make the World Series this year. It doesn't matter how hot they were in the beginning of the year. It doesn't matter that Judge is the best hitter in the American League. It doesn't matter the Yankees currently have a 5 game lead in the American League East.
They will make it into the playoffs. The MLB has made it far too hard for a team with a better than .500 record to not make the playoffs. With their win yesterday, the Yankees clinched their 30th straight non-losing season. (And as much as I don't believe in the Yankees, we can comfortably guess that they'll get another win soon to make that 30 straight winning seasons.) HOWEVER, making the playoffs does not mean a successful season. To me that's an expectation, that's not the goal. For this team, I also half expect them to continue to fall apart and to barely scrape the playoffs.
Benintendi is out. Rizzo is out. Carpenter is out. Giancarlo Stanton is hurt again. Bader still hasn't yet played. The Yankees won't play the young kids Peraza and Florial. The offense is comatose across the board. The pitching has been just decent. The team has too many problems to fix.
Mike Trout couldn't get the Angels into the postseason. Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani couldn't get the Angels into the postseason. Even with their huge advantage, Aaron Judge won't be able to get this team to #28.