The New York Yankees, while currently in contention for the Wild Card, have some major hurdles to overcome to finish strong in the 2023 regular season. With several injuries plaguing the team, young players will need to step up.
A Battle for the Wild Card
The Yankees are firmly in the mix to fight their way back in the Wild Card, currently trailing by four games. The next few weeks are crucial, and the young talent on the team will have to play a significant role.
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Injury Woes: A Struggling Starting Rotation
The starting rotation has been hit hard by injuries:
- Domingo German: Placed on the restricted list
- Carlos Rodon: Dealing with a left hamstring issue
- Nestor Cortés: Re-injured the left rotator cuff, expected to miss the remainder of the season
- Frankie Montas: Missing the entire season, not yet throwing in bullpen sessions
Nestor Cortés: A Significant Loss
Cortés’s injury is particularly disheartening. Coming off a great performance against the Houston Astros, where he gave up only one earned run in four innings and struck out eight batters, Cortés appeared to be a beacon of hope for the rotation. However, the 28-year-old will likely be shut down for the remainder of the season.
The team announced that Cortés would be off throwing for about a month, followed by an expected ramp-up and minor-league appearance, which could take several more weeks. Unless the Yankees reach the playoffs, which seems unlikely, Cortés won’t be making a return.
Randy Vasquez: A Rising Star
In the wake of these injuries, the Yankees are turning to 24-year-old Randy Vasquez. He features a 1.89 ERA this season across 19 innings, with impressive stats like a 94.1% left-on-base rate and 35.7% ground ball rate. The Yankees are looking to give him ample playing time, which presents an excellent opportunity to evaluate his potential as a future starting solution.
Jhony Brito: Another Hopeful Talent
Along with Vasquez, 25-year-old Jhony Brito is also expected to take the spotlight. Having pitched 57.1 innings this year for the Yankees, Brito has a 5.02 ERA and statistics such as a 70.7% left-on-base rate and 45.1% ground ball rate. His challenge lies in reducing walks and home runs, and if he can make that adjustment, he could be a crucial asset.
A Glimpse at the Future: Young Talent in Spotlight
While the injuries are undoubtedly a setback, they provide a unique opportunity for the Yankees to closely evaluate younger players like Vasquez and Brito. Their performances could not only impact the current season but also shape the prospects for 2024 and beyond.
Yankees’ Path Forward
The New York Yankees face a challenging path to close out the 2023 regular season. With key players injured, the team will rely heavily on younger talents to fill the void. Whether or not they secure a Wild Card spot, the experiences and insights gained will undoubtedly contribute to building a stronger and more resilient team for the future.