Yankees: Good news and bad news from 5-2 win over Royals

mlb: new york yankees at kansas city royals, clarke schmidt
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are on the brink of concluding their 2023 journey, a season they’d rather put behind them. As October looms, the spotlight shifts to the team’s evaluation process and recalibrating their roadmap ahead.

Still, there’s a drive to end the year on a high note, as evidenced by their recent 5-2 triumph over the Kansas City Royals.

Schmidt’s Promising Evolution

Highlighting Saturday’s match was Clarke Schmidt on the mound. Despite yielding eight hits and two earned runs over four innings, Schmidt is set to conclude the year with a 4.64 ERA. While he’s had his moments of brilliance, inconsistencies have clouded his performance. Yet, the Yankees remain optimistic about Schmidt’s growth, especially as he refines his pitches and gears up for a stronger sophomore season as a starter.

Analyzing the Bullpen and Montas’ Future

The bullpen showcased a commendable performance in the victory, merging their efforts for three hits and an impressive six strikeouts. The Yankees also granted Frankie Montas, their former trade addition, some game time.

Montas, gearing up for free agency, clocked 1.1 innings, managing two hits and a strikeout. Given the scarce availability of quality arms in the market, Montas might be in for a lucrative deal. Yet, if he’s up for grabs at an affordable rate, Brian Cashman, the general manager, might find value in keeping him on board for the 2024 roster.

Offensive Strides

On the offense front, the Yankees recorded 12 hits, with an added five walks and 13 strikeouts. Gleyber Torres remains a standout, registering two hits and a pair of RBIs, pushing his season’s average to .273. Meanwhile, the dynamic duo of Everson Pereira and Estevan Florial chipped in with two hits and two RBIs each.

With Florial’s stats impressing since his promotion (.237 batting average and .324 OBP), there’s a compelling case for his inclusion in the spring training line-up. At just 25, Florial’s age coupled with his potential could be a crucial factor for the Yankees’ outfield depth in the upcoming season.

Looking Ahead to the Yankees’ Season Finale

The curtain will drop on the Yankees’ season with a Sunday afternoon clash against the Royals at 3:10 PM. Michael King, transitioning from the bullpen to the starting line-up, will lead the charge. With an impressive 2.50 ERA this season, King is set to square off against Zack Greinke, whose record this year contrasts starkly with just one win to 15 losses. Despite ensuring a season above .500, the Yankees know this wasn’t the outcome they had envisioned at the season’s outset.

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