The 2023 MLB regular season awards will be announced this week and New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole is in contention for the Cy Young award. Can he beat out the other pitchers in contention and bring home the illustrious honor?
Winning the Cy Youn Award Would be a Monumental Moment for Gerrit Cole
David Adler of MLB.com broke down Cole’s previous Cy Young-caliber seasons and what winning this year would mean for his career:
“Cole’s five top-five finishes would be the most by any Cy Young winner before their first career award,” Adler pointed out. “Dennis Eckersley had three top-five finishes before he won the AL Cy Young Award with the A’s in 1992, and only seven other pitchers have even had multiple top-five finishes before winning the Cy Young Award for the first time: Verlander, Randy Johnson, Orel Hershiser, Jim Palmer, Catfish Hunter, Mike Marshall, and Fergie Jenkins.”
Yankees’ Cole Outperformed Fellow Cy Young Finalists in 2023
Cole has been an elite pitcher in the league for years now. This past season saw him post career highs in complete games and shutouts with two apiece. He also led the MLB while sporting personal bests with a 0.981 WHIP and 7.4 WAR. While the Yankees as a team failed to win enough games to qualify for the postseason, Cole won 15 games behind the second-best win percentage in the majors at 78.9 percent.
Cole exceeds his competition — Minnesota Twins ace Sonny Gray and Toronto Blue Jays star Kevin Gausman — in nearly every category across the board. He looks primed to add his first Cy Young to his trophy case.
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How a Win For Cole Measures Up in Yankees History and Personal Career
As Adler accentuated, Cole failed to take home a Cy Young award five times prior to this season, in 2015 and from 2018-2021. Markedly, his 2019 campaign with the Houston Astros saw him go for career-highs in ERA, strikeouts, wins, and win percentage while he led them to Game 7 of the World Series that year. In most cases, his 2023 campaign measures up to that of 2019 save team success.
With a win, Cole would join Roger Clemens (2001), Ron Guidry (1978), Sparky Lyle (1977), Whitey Ford (1961), and Bob Turley (1958) as the only Yankees to take home a Cy Young since the award was first instituted in 1956.