This week we asked our writers:
What needs to change for the Yankees for 2021?
Lincoln Mitchell – In 2021, the Yankees need to get ahead of the innovations that are changing the game. Rather than use their money to catch up on whatever the hot new strategy is, the Yankees should be innovators and figure out what is going to help teams win in the future.
Paul Semendinger – I was never a big fan of Aaron Boone as a manager. His first year, the flaws could be attributed to a new manager. They also won 100 games in 2018 and 2019 which seems to indicate that he is a good manager. That being said, the Yankees play a sloppy brand of baseball. Fundamentals have not been part of the team’s preparation for the last three seasons. The team wins when their superior talent overwhelms inferior opponents, but the good teams always seem to show the Yankees’ weaknesses. The “home run or nothing” approach is fun when they are hitting home runs, but when they’re not, the Yankees look terrible. Because of this, they have not been overly fun to watch. They are not strong defensively. There never seems to be a plan. The lineup is one-dimensional, it is made up of right handed sluggers who all seem to have the same strengths, weaknesses, and approaches. The team lacks energy and drive a lot – which seems to show up a lot when they play teams that do hustle and play a higher brand of baseball. And, Aaron Boone is often outmanaged.in big games. So, there’s a lot that has to change.
I don’t want to say that the Yankees need a new manager. But, they do need the manager, whether it is Aaron Boone or not, who can infuse some new thinking, a better balance, a focus on fundamentals, and teach the players to work as a team.
Ed Botti – A complete retro fit is not in order, obviously. But moves are needed.
Since the surprise to not retain Girardi following the 2017 playoff run, 2018, 2019 and now 2020 have all ended short of the goal. It’s been 11 seasons since they got to a World Series. At some point in time, one has to look at what is the common denominator for all of these failures over the 11 years, despite having the highest or one of the highest payrolls each year.
That common denominator is Brian Cashman.
Don’t get me wrong, he has done some very good things over his career, but he is the architect of these failing teams.
If a new voice was needed after 10 years of Girardi, why isn’t the same level of expectation and success applied to Cashman?
Sports is a result driven industry. He has had 11 seasons and 2 managers to build a championship team, and has not done so. He has had a revolving door of pitching acquisitions such as Nathan Eovaldi, Michael Pineda, Sonny Gray and James Paxton, to name to few, that all failed. His farm system has not developed many real starting pitchers at the MLB level.
The team is constructed the same way every year, and every year it proves to be short of what was needed.
He is now following the path set by other clubs, instead of setting the pace that others follow.
So, the first move that should be made, is a new captain at the helm.
James Vlietstra – Aaron Boone basically had 4 pitchers that he trusted by the playoffs…. Cole, Green, Britton, and Chapman
Over the course of the next 11 months that number has to at least double. Of the 14 pitchers likely to be on next year’s roster, he needs at least 8 that he can trust consistently.
Part of that could be new personnel or it could be the players that he already has producing on a regular basis.
Mike Whiteman – The Yankees need to put more emphasis on run prevention in 2021. Better defense, particularly behind the plate and in the infield, can only help the pitching staff. This is not a team built for the tense, tight postseason games. In a perfect world, this could also be done while getting a bit more left-handed as well.
Ethan Semendinger – The Yankees should ride into 2020 with a new catching core. The Yankees have seemingly made major personnel decisions with Gary Sanchez in mind (a.k.a. the letting go of Joe Girardi) and over the past three seasons the new coaching hasn’t helped Sanchez meet his potential. He should have good value to a team that could know how to fix him- maybe the Phillies have a guy who knew how to make him good?. Instead, the Yankees should ride into 2020 after signing free agent James McCann who was #5 on my Pre-2020 Catcher’s ranking list: The Determinator and played this past season for just $5.4 Million behind Yasmani Grandal.