The New York Yankees' disappointing 2023 season was highlighted by injuries and players who failed to meet expectations. Aaron Judge falls into the first category. DJ LeMahieu is part of the second group. Both players have their opinions on why the Yankees' 2023 campaign went worse than anyone could've imagined.
“I could only look from my perspective as a player,” Aaron Judge said, via The Athletic. “I’m not really going to get into the whole organization (or) stuff like that. It ain’t my job. …
“I think what it came down to was just getting hit with a couple of big injuries at the wrong time and not really (being) able to capitalize or have some depth at the time to cover those needs.”
The Yankees had no bigger injury than the one that Judge suffered on June 3 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Judge's outstanding defensive play backfired when he literally ran through the outfield wall, hurting his toe in the process. Judge's injury forced him to sit for the next 42 games. The Yankees went 19-23, a stretch from which they ultimately were unable to recover.
New York's rotation was ravaged by injuries. Carlos Rodon had two IL stints and pitched horribly when healthy. The same went for Luis Severino, who was even worse. Nestor Cortes missed most of the year. Domingo German saw his season end in early August when he entered treatment for alcohol abuse.
“What could go wrong,” LeMahieu said, “went wrong.”
LeMahieu was part of a group of veteran hitters who didn't come close to matching the numbers on the back of their baseball cards. The team's most reliable hitter for the first few years of his Yankees' tenure, LeMahieu has a .243 batting average in the season's final week. Giancarlo Stanton will finish the year below the Menzoa Line. Anthony Rizzo had a .706 OPS before post-concussion syndrome cut his season short at 99 games.
Judge leads the Yankees with 35 home runs and 71 RBI in just 102 games. It hasn't been nearly enough for the Yankees to come close to earning a playoff spot.