Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees have the potential to enjoy an incredible 2023 campaign. However, injury concerns are already impacting the ball club and the regular season hasn’t even started yet. Carlos Rodon and Harrison Bader are both dealing with injury concerns. It was recently revealed that Luis Severino could open the season on the injured list.
The Yankees are going to need certain players to step up. Additionally, they may look to acquire outside help. As talented as Aaron Judge is, he can’t carry New York all the way to the World Series on his own. With that being said, here’s a look at three bold predictions for the Yankees ahead of Opening Day.
Yankees trade for SP early in season
This wouldn’t be a bold prediction if we said the Yankees were going to trade for a pitcher in July ahead of the trade deadline. The uncertainty in their pitching rotation may force them into making an early-season trade though.
Why would the Yankees make a trade in April or May? Well, one look at their potential starting rotation will tell you all that you need to know, per Barstool Baseball.
Yankees projected Rotation going into Spring:
Yankees Rotation going into Opening Day:
— Barstool Baseball (@StoolBaseball) March 25, 2023
The rotation was supposed to be a strength. But as mentioned earlier, the Yankees have endured trouble trying to escape their injury woes. And the fact of the matter is that relying on Clarke Schmidt and Domingo German, as well as a possible fifth starter for depth, is far from ideal.
New York has a championship-or-bust mindset. They will try to make a move earlier than you would imagine.
One pitcher to keep an eye on, although his team wouldn’t love the idea of trading him, is Brady Singer of the Kansas City Royals. Singer has emerged as a reliable big league arm and Kansas City isn’t expected to contend this year.
Clay Holmes runs away with closer role
The Yankees feature a number of potential closing options. But Clay Holmes may be in line for his biggest season yet.
Aroldis Chapman has consistently been the Yankees’ closer over the past few years. Chapman took a step back in 2022, which ultimately opened the door. With Chapman now with the Kansas City Royals, Holmes will be able to run away with the job.
The right-hander unquestionably has the pitch arsenal to succeed. If Aaron Boone gives him the opportunity, look for Holmes to earn an eye-opening amount of saves in 2023.
Giancarlo Stanton hits 45 home runs
This prediction wouldn’t have seemed bold a few years ago. We are talking about the same player that blasted 59 home runs in 2017 with the Miami Marlins.
Since coming to New York, however, Stanton hasn’t hit more than 38 home runs in a single season. In 2022, despite playing in only 110 games, the slugger clubbed 31 homers.
There’s no question that Stanton has the power to hit 45 home runs or more for the Yankees. The question is whether or not he can stay healthy.
New York is looking to move him to left field which will allow Stanton to cover less ground. Stanton will also see time at DH. As a result, he may be able to stay healthy. And with pitchers preparing to face Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton will see better pitches to hit.
The Yankees need to help Aaron Judge in 2023, and Giancarlo Stanton is in line to do exactly that.