The verdict is in: Yankees excel in regular season


Keith Allison | Wikimedia Commons

Elijah Blain

The 2022 Yankee season started with a walk-off victory against the Red Sox, a win that would set the tone for the rest of the season. The Yankees recorded 16 walk-off wins throughout the 2022 regular season, the fourth most in league history.

Earlier that day, Yankees GM Brian Cashman announced that the club offered their star outfielder, Aaron Judge, a seven-year, $213.5 million extension.

This was the final offer that Judge’s camp would listen to before next offseason, when the outfielder becomes an unrestricted free agent. Judge declined the offer, choosing to prove that he deserved a larger contract on the diamond.

On June 13, the Yankees led the MLB within staff ERA and average fastball velocity. Along with an offense that led the MLB in home runs, both units contributed to the Yankees’ 64-28 start heading into the All-Star break.

The Yankees had the most players representing their squad at the 2022 All-Star Game compared to any other team. Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes and Jose Trevino were all voted onto the team by fans, the mediaand managers.

Players acquired from offseason and in-season transactions were mainstays in their lineup. The Yankees acquired two key pieces of their infield before the season started: Isaiah Kiner-Falefa and Josh Donaldson.

Kiner-Falefa was acquired to be a temporary fix at that position after the team missed out on top free agents during the previous offseason. Josh Donaldson’s veteran bat experience and consistency at third base added value to the lineup.

During the second half of the season, the Yankees promoted players from their farm system to replace their injured star players. Oswaldo Cabrera and Oswald Peraza were promoted from Scranton and added defensive versatility and stable bats to a team that was struggling to produce runs.

Heroic performances by Aaron Judge and consistent starting pitching prevented the Yankees from blowing a 15.5-game lead in the American League East. The Yankees clinched the division on Sep. 27, securing a first-round bye in the playoffs.

By the end of the season, Aaron Judge broke the Yankees’ and American League’s record for home runs in a season with 62, nearly securing a triple crown. While his looming free agency status is on the mind of every Yankee fan, Judge avoids speculating about his future in pinstripes.

Trade deadline acquisition Frankie Montas never found his footing in the Bronx, as his 3.18 ERA as an Oakland Athletic skyrocketed to 6.35 as a Yankee. He will likely pitch out of the bullpen during the postseason.

While the bullpen remains very inconsistent and without a reliable closer, the Yankees chances in the postseason are good. They have three legitimate aces that they can start in the American League Division Series: Nestor Cortes, Gerrit Coleand Luis Severino.

The main concern is if their offense can produce during the postseason. They had a 17-8 record in September, but they were facing teams many teams that were eliminated from postseason contention. After last year’s early exit in the Wild Card round, Yankees fans are justified to be nervous about how the lineup will perform in October.

But this year’s Yankees are a more well-rounded team than their 2021 counterparts due to their mix of rookie and veteran bats. While the Houston Astros will give the Yankees a difficult time in a potential American League Championship Series matchup, the Yankees should like their chances of winning their 28th World Series Championship.