A certain New York Yankees players need to step up this season in order to retain their spots on the team.
The Yankees is a franchise with a long history of extraordinary success. But the team has struggled in recent years, failing to win the World Series title since 2009, despite reaching the playoffs for six consecutive years. Hence, to turn things around and return to their winning ways, the Yankees will need some of their key players to have bounce-back seasons in 2023. Here are four players who could use a strong performance in 2023:
The New York Yankees traded in Josh Donaldson late last season to strengthen their offense. However, the former AL-MVP did not live up to expectations as he recorded 222 with 15 home runs and 62 RBIs in total. Hence, the rumors of his trade were rife during the off-season. Although due to the high contract value, the trade stalled, and Josh received another chance for redemption. This year, the baseman had to perform, or else he is on his way out undoubtedly.
The most hated man in the New York Yankee fan base after Josh Donaldson is outfielder Aaron Hicks. In an injury-plagued 2022 season, Hicks clocked .216 with just 8 home runs and 40 RBIs. Hence, even his trade was on the cards this off-season. However, the Yankees owe $30.5 million to Hicks, which no other team in their right mind would offer to Aaron, who is coming off an awful season. Hence, a bounce-back season is extremely important for Hicks as well as the Yankees, to do some justice to the payroll. On top of that, a left-field position has opened up for the outfielder to stamp his authority on the roster.
Pitcher Luis Severino has been one of the Yankees’ top pitchers when healthy, but he missed most of the 2022 season due to a lat strain injury. Still, he recorded a 3.18 ERA and 112 strikeouts in 102 innings. This year, Luis has been given a chance to redeem himself. Furthermore, Yanks general manager Brian Cashman even disallowed Luis to participate in the WBC 2023 to maintain his health for the MLB regular season. Hence, the pitcher had added responsibility to live up to the expectations and perform this year.
New York Yankee’s baseman DJ LeMahieu sits on a six-year extension contract worth $90 million. Last season, DJ was on a rampage with .261 in 467 at-bats with 12 homers and 46 RBIs before he incurred a toe injury. The injury ended his season prematurely, leading the team to struggle in the postseason. Despite the numbers, DJ is not quite doing justice to his payroll. Hence, this season, he, too, is on the Yanks’ watch list. Meanwhile, DJ had a comeback in full health and already made his spring training debut on Wednesday. Moreover, he is likely to play the role of a leader of this for the second consecutive season.