New York Yankees: Biggest takeaways from second televised intrasquad game, Cole outing

New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole

The New York Yankees took the field for the second night in a row for another televised intrasquad game at Yankee Stadium. The game featured every starter for the exception of DJ LeMahieu as he not partaking in Summer Camp yet after his recent positive test. It’s still early in camp that players, especially hitters, are still catching up to being game-ready, however, there are some positive things to note from the intrasquad.

Gerrit Cole looks sharp, has bulldog mentality

After allowing a home run to Miguel Andujar as the second batter of his outing, Gerrit Cole focused up and retired 15 out of the 19 total batters he faced. He allowed just one hit (the Andujar homer) while fanning six batters. Cole’s fastball looked strong and his offspeed pitches were getting swing-and-misses. He also retired the last ten batters he faced in his outing.

One thing to note about Cole is his bulldog mentality no matter what situation he’s in. “I was trying to win. Unfortunately, we lost,” Cole said after the game. Even though these intrasquad are low intensity and are mainly for hitters and pitchers to get live looks, Cole had the mentality of thinking this was a mid-season game down the stretch.

Michael King showed a flash of dominance

After appearing in just one game for the New York Yankees last season, Michael King showed a sample of dominance today. King has a deceiving motion that hides the ball well from hitters and throws across his body which makes it uncomfortable for right-handed hitters.

In two innings of work, King fanned three batters while allowing just one hit. King’s fastball looked strong as he commanded it well while flashing a good-looking slider and curveball.

King is definitely someone the Yankees are going to have to think about when deciding on what arms they are going to put on the roster. Clarke Schmidt, who was fabulous in Monday’s intrasquad game, is also another guy who will be in the run for a roster spot.

Andujar homers off Cole

In Gerrit Cole’s first inning of work, Miguel Andujar took a fastball to right-field for a home run. Definitely mixed emotions for Yankee fans, but on a positive side, Andujar’s swing is looking like it did in 2018 and showed tremendous opposite-field power.

New York Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen Needs to be Aggressive Next Offseason

The New York Mets are going to have to try to re-sign a lot of their impact players like Marcus Stroman and Justin Wilson while determining whether to keep a lot of veterans on their squad either through club options, new deals, or letting them go. The Mets roster is relatively talented, but they don’t have much in the farm system to be ready to shed off talent for more space in the roster.

The Mets come off as a team that needs to make moves now, and I think keeping Brodie’s aggressive nature needs to continue rather than be curbed because if you think about it, before Brodie was the GM the Mets were well below .500 for two years straight, and while Diaz hasn’t panned out yet, his 2.63 SIERA (Skill-Interactive Earned Run Average) shows there is more than hope for him and that Van Wagenen probably will look better for this move this year.

Address the Starting Pitching

Yes, you have Jacob deGrom and next year Noah Syndergaard, but Marcus Stroman, Rick Porcello, and Michael Wacha? All could depart this offseason, and so you need to start designing and adding to the rotation or else you’re going to lose a key element to your success; your starting pitching

I think the Mets should consider whether they will bring back Stroman or not (remembering Syndergaard will be a free agent in 2021) and if they will add even more pitching to supplement the return of Stroman. You have to consider the Yankees’ lefty James Paxton as an option but I think he and Stroman would be too expensive as the Mets have other issues to address, so a guy like Jake Odorizzi could be an option as well as a 3rd or 4th starter.

If you want cheaper options than even that you have solid #4 or #5 pitchers like Anthony DeSclafani who is a career 4.03 SIERA pitcher and had a 3.95 DRA in 2019, DRA (Deserved Run Average) which factors the park, quality of opponent, pitch framing, and even temperature. This stat is a stat that boils down a pitcher’s pure skill and for a guy who will probably sign for 2 years $15 million? A high 3 ERA guy is a pretty good bargain to pair with Stroman to make a rotation that is still well above average, and it’d add around $27.5 million to your payroll total because Stroman probably signs for around $20 million a year, but what about the lineup?

Bring in an Outfield Power Bat

Yes, I know the New York Mets traded for the defensive stud Jake Marisnick but the issue is he’s awful offensively so he’s a liability at the plate, but if you put Nimmo in CF then yes you have a liability in the outfield defensively but you still have his offense and total value. This doesn’t mean they can’t get better in the corner outfield spot not occupied by Conforto? I think they can.

With Cespedes’ absurd $29 million off of the books after this year, we were able to spend $27.5 million on starting pitching, meaning right now we have an around $103,500,000 dollar payroll before arbitration currently. I think the New York Mets have around $40 million max. to spend on impact position players, so we have to sign realistic players and not just try to blow all of our cash on Mookie Betts. Despite the limitations, how about Marcell Ozuna?

Marcell Ozuna is an outfielder for the rival Braves but he has a ton of potential and his expected stats show that he can be a lot better than the 107 and 109 wRC+ numbers we’ve seen in his stint with St. Louis. In 2019 despite his .336 wOBA, Ozuna had a .389 xwOBA in 2019 with xSLG of .548 and an Exit Velocity (of the top 5% of his hard-hit balls) were at 111.4 MPH, one of the best marks in the league. He also is a good defensive corner outfielder at 8.6 UZR/150 in LF in his career and 24.1 UZR/150 in RF but in a smaller sample size.

You’d be getting what I think is a 4 fWAR 130 wRC+ caliber player and you could get him for $22 million a year at 30 for 6 seasons. He’d make that lineup a lot scarier and would be a great fit for the NEw York Mets.

Polishing Touches

I’ve discussed before letting Wilson Ramos walk and bringing in Jason Castro who put up a .364 xWOBA and is a much better framing catcher, who would cost around $7 million for the Mets over two seasons and allows the Mets to continue to develop catching prospect Fransico Alvarez for the next two seasons.

The Mets need to make sure they retain the likes of Dellin Betances and Justin Wilson which would cost around $25 million to do and factoring me guessing a $35 million total in arbitration and $10 million for the rest of the roster, the Mets would have a ~$195.5 million payrolls, and while yes that is pretty high, it’s still about $ 14.5 million below the luxury tax threshold for 2021 which would be set at $210 million. The next offseason they’d need to bring back Syndergaard and Conforto BUT they’d be off of Familia’s 17.6 million dollar deal and off of $17.6 million in Luxury Tax salary that they’ve bee owing to David Wright so that should help create more cap space.

Evaluating the Mets After These Moves

Assuming we are back to a 26 man roster in 2021, this is what the team would look like:

  1. Brandon Nimmo CF
  2.  Michael Conforto RF
  3. Jeff McNeil 3B
  4. Pete Alonso 1B
  5. Marcell Ozuna RF
  6. JD Davis DH
  7. Robinson Cano 2B
  8. Jason Castro C
  9. Amed Rosario SS

For the bench I decided on these 4 being the best candidates:

Dominic Smith 1B/LF/RF
Tomas Nido C
Luis Gillmore IF
Melky Cabrera OF

Now for the Mets’ rotation, new and improved:

  1. Jacob deGrom
  2. Noah Syndergaard
  3. Marcus Stroman
  4. Anthony DeSclafani
  5. Steven Matz

And then the bullpen:

Paul Sewald
Robert Gsellman
Justin Wilson
David Peterson
Jeurys Familia
Seth Lugo
Dellin Betances
Edwin Diaz

I think this team would be an easy division favorite, I mean did you see how deep that lineup was? The rotation is good and that bullpen is great, and if the Mets follow this blueprint, they’ll be hosting a World Series trophy over their head in this decade.

New York Yankees: Biggest takeaways from first televised intrasquad game

New York Yankees, Clarke Schmidt

For the first time in months, the New York Yankees were able to be watched on television as they took the field at Yankee Stadium for an intrasquad game. As they get ready for the unorthodox season of only 60 games, pitchers and hitters need to see as many live reps as they can since they are only 16 days away from Opening Day.

This game wasn’t intense in any means, as the players are still coming off a three-month delay. With that being said, it’s expected that the players aren’t at fully game-ready. However, there were still positive things to note from the intrasquad.

Clark Schmidt looked sharp

Just two seasons in the minors, Clarke Schmidt may be called upon early to help out the Yankees. Throwing two innings in the intrasquad game, Schmidt looked great. He had great command of his fastball, and his offspeed pitches looked sharp and game-ready. In 2.1 innings pitched (seven hitters faced), he fanned three batters and only allowed one hit.

“I think that I can produce at this level, I think I can get outs at this level,” Schmidt said after his outing. “I hold myself to a high regard, I always have. I’m a very confident kid.”

Hicks and Judge’s swings look healthy

Although they had no hits between both of them, Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge both looked healthy swinging the bat. Coming off two major injuries that costed them significant time, there was a concern that both of these key players wouldn’t be ready for Opening Day. It’s tough to tell from just a few at-bats if they’re 100% healthy, but their bat speed and swing looked normal—Hicks especially, who flew out to deep right field in two at-bats.

JA Happ looks promising

Throwing two innings in the intrasquad, JA Happ looked sharped through his short outing. He fanned six batters, giving up no hits and allowing just one walk. There was some concern with Happ entering the season as he struggled with keeping the ball in the park last year, but both his outings in Spring Training and Summer Camp have looked promising for the Yankees.

Thairo Estrada goes deep

Middle infielder Thairo Estrada who played just 11 games in the Major Leagues last year, took Tommy Kahnle deep to left field. For a game that didn’t have much hard contact, this was exciting to see.

Voit, Stanton, Wade, Torres all with base knocks

There wasn’t much-batted ball in play during this intrasquad, but these four sluggers found themselves with a base hit—Stanton and Voit, especially, who ripped the ball into centerfield. With no players playing the field, it’s tough to say if these hits would actually drop in a real game. However, they all had good swings on the ball.

New York Yankees: Three reasons to look forward to the 2020 season

New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole

COVID-19 has rocked the entire world, not just sports. Shortened seasons, guidelines in place to ensure player and personnel safety and venues are all decisions that have the sports community scrambling for answers. Despite all of these challenges, Major League Baseball is going to happen in 2020. With a disappointing decade from 2010-2019, the first in franchise history with no World Series appearances, the New York Yankees look to rebound in the 2020s. Even with a shortened, 60 game season, there is so much to look forward to if you are a Yankees fan.

1. Gerrit Cole.

General Manager Brian Cashman landed his “white whale” back in December with a nine-year $324 million deal, the richest deal ever for a pitcher.  Bringing Cole to New York was the top priority heading into free agency after the Bombers lost in the ALCS to the Astro’s. Even with winning over 100 games in each of the last three seasons, the New York Yankees just couldn’t get over the hump and make it to the World Series. With injuries constantly keeping the starters off the field and forcing the Yankees to use 155 different starting lineups in 2019, the team needed a major shot of adrenaline. Adding Cole does exactly that. His 2019 season was one of the most impressive in recent years, posting a 24-6 record with a 2.39 ERA and 373 strikeouts. The acquisition of Cole instantly gives the New York Yankees one of the top rotations at least in the American League. When Luis Severino returns from recovering from Tommy John surgery, you would be hard-pressed to find a better rotation. The Yankees should certainly do major damage with a healthy Cole as their ace for the future.

2. Players coming back healthy.

The team was plagued by injuries all throughout 2019. With a Major League record of 30 players designated to the IL, the phrase “next man up” became the team’s rallying cry. With unlikely players stepping up and filling major holes such as Mike Tauchman, Mike Ford, and Chad Green the team still pulled together and won the division and won 103 games en route to another ALCS appearance. On paper, the Yankees have one of the most dominant tops to bottom rosters in baseball when healthy. Key players like Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez getting constantly caught with the injury bug especially last year are obvious roadblocks to success, but 2020 should see all of the squad returning healthy. Aaron Hicks and Judge both are scheduled to be ready for opening day, as well as prime starter James Paxton who recovered from back surgery late last year. With at least most of their players primed to come back healthy, 2020 should be an exciting year for the Bombers.

3. More motivated and hungry than ever.

Every team in a competitive sports league goes into their season with one goal in mind: Bring a championship home to their city. Looking back at the past decade without reaching a World Series, watching their storied rival Boston Red Sox bring home two World Series championships in 2013 and 2018, and watching the Houston Astros cheat their way through the league the last couple of years, the Yankees are coming back more motivated and hungry than ever to bring a championship home to the Bronx. And they have all the tools to do it. With a young, exciting core of Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar and Aaron Judge among many others to put runs on the board, Cole, Tanaka, Paxton, and Severino on the mound, and the best bullpen in the sport with Tommy Kahnle, Adam Ottavino, Zach Britton and Aroldis Chapman, the potential for this squad is through the roof.

The most die-hard Yankee fan could have a conversation with the most anti-Yankee baseball observer and would come to a mutual conclusion: The Yankees are going to be a threat in 2020. No matter the number of games, with a healthy roster the Yankees are going to be the team to beat.

 

Will James Dolan Patiently Allow Leon Rose And “World Wide Wes” to Rebuild The New York Knicks?

New York Knicks, James Dolan

Leon Rose, Wesley Williams, Scott Perry, Walt Perrin, Alex Kline, and the New York Knicks have been occupied during the pandemic. Watching film, talking to colleagues, accessing resources, and holding virtual draft prospect interviews during this weird off-season, all in which have been an irregular, tedious, and abnormal process have been ongoing. However, many are looking at the big picture wondering if New York Knicks Owner James Dolan will patiently allow Leon Rose and Wesley Williams, also known as “World Wide Wes”, to rebuild the once prominent basketball squad in New York City during the 1990’s.

Rebuilding a winning basketball team requires the top of the rebuilding organization to have all necessary personnel in their correct and respective positions within their individual professional specialties. Combining basketball minds is crucial, however, basketball minds still need time to execute strategic rebuilding and culture plans. All personnel must be on the same page starting with the front office all the way to the organization’s G-League affiliate (Westchester Knicks). Therefore, continuity is key to a well functioning organization and the New York Knicks are thirsting for stability and overall continuity, especially within the top part of the organization.

The Knicks are near the end of their coaching search and it would be the perfect time to begin practicing stability by retaining Mike Miller and making him the next head coach. The players seem to respect Mike Miller and he has a great basketball mind due to his previous winning stint with the Westchester Knicks a few years ago along with his advanced understanding of Tex Winters beloved triangle offense which encourages ball movement. Mike Miller took over from David Fizdale and rallied the troops. Player development is also Mike Miller’s strong suit.

Once the Knicks find their coach, James Dolan must let the revamped front office work and execute. Stability must be priority. Let the basketball minds do their jobs without worrying about termination at any given moment.

Problems the New York Yankees could encounter this season

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

The New York Yankees are one of the favorites for the World Series during this unconventional 60-game year and for good reason. They have one of the strongest and most intimidating lineups in all of Major League Baseball and with the addition of superstar Gerrit Cole to the rotation, they’re on a whole different level than last season.

Despite all the positive things to be excited about this season, there are some issues the Yankees will need to have a grip on if they want that end goal: bringing home the 28th Commissioner’s Trophy to the Bronx once again.

Injuries

This is one of the most obvious ones, as last season was a nightmare of injuries. Even though the Yankees still found success even when they have several of their key players on the Injured List, it would be extremely difficult to repeat that. It’s crucial that sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton remain healthy throughout the shortened season. Other important players such as Gary Sanchez, Luke Voit, and Aaron Hicks who have had injury problems throughout their career need to stay healthy as long as the club wants another successful season.

During a normal 162-game season, going on the IL for 14 days isn’t ideal, but it wasn’t the end of the world. During these new circumstances with only 60 games, the team can’t afford to have key players sit out for two weeks.

Back end of starting rotation

The addition of Gerrit Cole made the Yankees’ pitching rotation significantly better, no doubt. However, without Luis Severino and Domingo German, the back end of the rotation is a little questionable. The projected rotation is as follows: Gerrit Cole, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, JA Happ, Jordan Montgomery, and Jonathan Loaisiga. Happ, Montgomery, and Loaisiga are all guys that can either dominate for seven innings or be pulled in the fourth.

The reason why I say these three guys are questionable is that you never know what’re you’re going to get when they take the mound. Happ looked great during the preseason games, however, struggled last season with keeping the ball in the park. Montgomery was fantastic prior to Tommy John surgery, and a pitcher could be completely different after having a big surgery like that. Loaisiga has some nasty stuff but sometimes struggles to command the zone.

The New York Yankees rotation will interesting to watch this season. I think the “opener” strategy” that was used last season will probably be used again this season, as it was deemed highly effective. The Yankee bullpen remains one of the league’s best so they can utilize that with little concern.

Can these guys repeat it?

There were several players on the Yankees last season that had what you can call their “breakout” seasons. Gio Urshela, Mike Tauchman, Mike Ford all busted onto the scene last year when they proved they were valuable to the team’s success. It’ll be fun and interesting to watch if these guys can repeat their success from last season. It’s possible that last year was just a career year for them, however, I think that’s unlikely. I believe these players are truly able to compete with some of the league’s best and Yankee fans should expect it again this year.

Paul Sewald is the Victim of the Mets’ Bad Defense, But That’s Due to Change

When most people think of Paul Sewald, the 30 year old righty on the New York Mets, they think of his career 5.16 ERA, his inability to close games out, and being the epitome of what the Mets’ bullpen has been in recent memory. This often leads to Mets fans groaning and moaning when they hear his name called out of the bullpen, but is that all Paul Sewald is? He’s given up a ton of big home runs and hasn’t been a good reliever, but is that all she wrote?

Using stats that can show the true skill of a player, we can figure out if Paul Sewald is better than his ERA suggests and spark some hope in his success, let’s get to the data!

Can’t Hit It Hard Off Of Him

This was actually surprising when I was studying Sewald’s statcast metrics (from Baseball Savant of course, I spend way too much time on there) he has a career 31.8% hard hit% against, which is below the MLB average 34.5% and a .413 xSLG against which is average, a .318 xWOBA against, which is a little better than average, and a 24.5% K%, which is higher than the MLB average.

Batters struggle to hit the ball hard off of Sewald, and that’s something that for some odd reason has not translated well into a lower ERA, which is the big mystery right?

Death By a Million Hits

Paul Sewald has a career 8.8 H/9 which is not good at all, and combine that with his below average 9.1 BB% in 2018, and that’s how you get a 6.07 ERA. In 2018 he also had his worst H/9 of 9.9 which lead to a 1.509 WHIP. That explains a lot now doesn’t it? Sure he had a 3.98 xERA in 2018, and yea he didn’t get hit hard at all, but he had one massive issue: He couldn’t stop bleeding out hits.

When you look at his spray charts, in 2018 you see the onslaught of hits that he gave up, with a lot of them not being hard hit, not going very far, and making you wonder: Why did he give up so many? Well the answer is actually quite simple

Horrible Defenses Behind Him

It’s often undervalued how much a pitcher with a high contact against rate needs a good defense behind them. The Mets in 2018 had -69 DRS and a -32.1 UZR (which was the 27th in the whole MLB) and in 2019 a -86 DRS (28th) and -12.8 UZR (24th) which is not doing Sewald any favors. Does this situation get any better for the Mets though? Yes actually, it gets a lot better in 2020.

The Mets will be able to have Jeff McNeil in his best defensive position, 3rd base, instead of the outfield where he was below average defensively. Nimmo and Conforto are best at RF for Nimmo and LF for Conforto, so you can put the elite defender at CF Jake Marisnick and now your outfield is above average defensively. Now for the infield, with McNeil at 3rd who will replace Frazier (who was below average at 3rd defensively in 2019) which should help the defensive structure in the infield, however you still have your poor defensive combo in the middle infield.

Does this mean this team will have an elite defense? No, but it will be good in the outfield which is most important as that’s where Sewald got exposed and will see less doubles and triples, and more outs.

Look for Sewald to be closer to his xERA with a 3.80-3.90 ERA and be a solid reliever for the Mets in 2020, as the Mets defense won’t be digging the pitching into even deeper holes.

Former New York Jet Tavon Mason Helps Countless Kids

New York Jets

An accomplished author, a stellar athlete, a man who dedicates his time to helping others, all this and more perfectly describe former New York Jets wide receiver Tavon Mason.

Through his foundation Tavon Mason Loves the Kids Foundation or TMLTKF for short, Mason has helped countless kids foster a love for reading by visiting schools to promote literacy.  Mason knows just how fundamental reading is and brings awareness through his Summer Reading Program, in which Mason travels around reading his highly popular children’s book Tavon Does it All.  Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Mason recently read his book virtually via Caribu along with NFL great Andre Fluellen  The book follows Tavon, a young star of his football team and a well-rounded young man who holds many passions in life.

The story is a great read as it is highly encouraging and inspirational.  The book also teaches extremely valuable lessons of showing kindness to one another, carrying oneself with respect, and being a good sport both on and off the field.    Be sure to pick up a copy at https://www.amazon.com/Tavon-Does-All-Mason/dp/1519383290.

Mason knows that a good education and a healthy lifestyle go hand in hand in ensuring a balance in equilibrium in the lives of the next generation.  Mason promotes good nutrition and exercise.  During the summer seasons, Mason ensures that all kids have something healthy to eat by providing them with nutritious snacks during camps.

To help ease students in to back to school time, Mason makes sure that students of Baltimore City have all of the essentials needed to excel during the upcoming school year.

When the winter months hit, Mason holds a drive to collect winter coats and necessities for men at shelters and give books and arts and crafts supplies to and provide a hearty meal for all at the women and children’s shelter.  The cold winter season can be a difficult time for those in need and Mason is so generously trying to ease their struggles through this program and beyond.

Each year, Mason also collects slippers to hand out to kids at local children’s hospitals.  Something as simple as a slipper can truly make a difference in the lives and brighten the days of these amazing warriors!

Mason is a class act and truly selfless when it comes to making a difference in the lives of so many.  He exemplifies kindness, humility, and is an inspiration and role model to all!  He is a true game changer when it comes to promoting awareness about education, nutrition, and physical well-being!

New York Mets: Should Seth Lugo Be A Utility Pitcher?

The New York Mets have seemingly struck gold with Seth Lugo, as he’s become one of the premier relievers in all of baseball. Over the last two seasons, Lugo has pitched 181.1 innings in the last two seasons to the tune of a 2.68 ERA, 2.96 FIP, 3.38 xFIP, 3.10 SIERA, and a 3.8 fWAR.

The starter converted to reliever has expressed interest in starting again, and with Noah Syndergaard out, should the Mets consider trying to make Seth Lugo a utility arm, getting him to both start some games, and come out of the bullpen. With a 60 game season, Lugo could pitch the Mets out of trouble to close crucial games out, or get the Mets 4 solid innings to start a game and hand it to guys like Robert Gsellman and Justin Wilson for the 5-7 innings.

Is Lugo the Mets Best Pitcher Not Named deGrom?

If you think about the Mets without Syndergaard, who else is as valuable and pitches to as high of a volume out of the bullpen as Lugo? When you look at peripherals and even result-based metrics, you can’t say that he’s not their second best pitcher, and out of the bullpen he’s their best bet, as while yes Betances is better, being able to use Lugo as much as the Mets have been able to does matter.

The Mets need their pitching to hold up as their bullpen’s potential with a better Diaz and a healthy Betances. Their bullpen being as good as expected with their talent gives them a leg up over their division, but what about a super pitcher?

Having Something The Other Don’t

The NL East contenders do not have the type of pitcher Lugo is, and so by using him to his full potential, you create a sort of super pitcher role that not only can other teams in their division not fully prepare against, but cannot use against the Mets, as none of them have a great reliever with that much versatility, and so they will often struggle more than the Mets in terms of pitching

The Mets have 60 games to take every little advantage they’ve got with a loaded up roster and win the NL East, and if they use Lugo as a utility arm, they’re going to enjoy bypassing the wild card and going straight to the NLDS.

New York Yankees: What should fans expect from Gerrit Cole in shortened 2020?

New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole

The New York Yankees are officially back in business, and they were shown on the field Thursday afternoon. Of course, the standout that everyone was excited to see is the Yankees ace, Gerrit Cole. The Yankees 326 million dollar man threw on Thursday against the likes of Aaron Judge and Luke Voit.

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Hot and Cole

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You can feel the excitement from Yankees fans everywhere about Cole’s debut later this month. Of course the expectations are high for Cole, but what should fans expect in this shortened season from the ace?

The reality is that fans need to be realistic with their expectations for Cole. In a 60 game season, Cole is currently scheduled to get 12 starts assuming he stays healthy. Cole is not going to go 12-0 with a 0.00 ERA. It will only take one bad start to really inflate the numbers to give the appearance that Cole isn’t having an elite season.

New York Yankees & Gerrit Cole realistic expectations

If we are looking at the 12 starts, I think that 8-3 with a 3.37 ERA is a realistic line for Cole in his first season in pinstripes. Yes, the ERA is significantly higher than it was last year, but you have to keep in mind that Cole will be pitching in a new environment with less room for error. He’s still going to show everyone that he is arguably the best pitcher in the game, but there might be a slip-up here or there.

I think the Yankees need to go into this season with a World Series or bust mentality. However, fans should be realistic on the expectations for the individual players. Aaron Judge is not going to hit 300 with 25 home runs, and Gerrit Cole is not going to have an ERA under one. This season is going to be fast and furious, and with less room for error, fans’ patience is going to be running thin in the pressure cooker that is New York. I think Cole is going to show out this year, but it’s important to be realistic about what we should expect as fans.