Gerrit Cole’s brilliance amidst Yankees’ season of ups and downs sparks debate

Gerrit Cole, player of the New York Yankees

Last Updated on October 6, 2023 at 12:39 am by Amanda Cunha

The 2023 season for the New York Yankees took an unexpected turn, leaving them far from the postseason contention that many had anticipated. While hopes were high for a playoff run and a shot at a World Series title, the Yankees ultimately finished with an 82-80 record and missed the playoffs. As they reflect on a season that fell short of expectations, Gerrit Cole emerged as one of the standout performers for the team.

Gerrit Cole blames it on injury woes, missed opportunities

Gerrit Cole, player of the New York Yankees

Gerrit Cole‘s assessment of the season sheds light on some of the challenges the Yankees faced. He pointed out that injuries to key players, specifically Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo, significantly impacted the team’s performance. Judge’s season was derailed on June 3 when he collided with the right-field wall at Dodger Stadium, resulting in a ligament tear in his toe. Meanwhile, Rizzo suffered post-concussion symptoms following a collision with Fernando Tatis Jr., leading to his shutdown in August.

These injuries exposed the Yankees’ vulnerability and the lack of depth in their roster. The offseason now presents an opportunity for the team to regroup, address weaknesses, and build a stronger foundation for the future.

Gerrit Cole’s outstanding season

Amidst the disappointment of the season, Gerrit Cole’s performance stood out as a beacon of excellence. He capped off his 2023 campaign with a memorable two-hit shutout, becoming the first Yankee with multiple shutouts allowing two hits or fewer in a season since David Wells in 1998. Cole consistently delivered quality starts, boasting the most starts of at least six innings with three or fewer hits allowed in Yankees history.

Gerrit Cole’s ERA for the season was remarkable, marking the lowest by a qualified Yankees pitcher in the last 43 years. His 7.5 WAR (Wins Above Replacement) was the best by a Yankee pitcher in a season since Andy Pettitte in 1997, highlighting his immense value to the team. Additionally, Gerrit Cole is poised to become the first Yankee to lead all MLB pitchers in WAR since Spud Chandler in 1943, cementing his status as one of the league’s elite talents.

Yankees ace Gerrit Cole is pitching against the Blue Jays on Sept 21, 2023, at Yankee Stadium.

A notable aspect of the Yankees’ offseason discussions is the involvement of Gerrit Cole and Aaron Judge in the team’s evaluation process. Both players expressed their willingness to contribute to assessing the team’s performance and planning for the future.

Boomer’s skepticism

However, not everyone is convinced that player involvement in such evaluations is beneficial. The podcaster Eriason Boomer of Boomer and Gio, for instance, finds it challenging to understand the significance of Gerrit Cole and Judge’s participation in these discussions. He argues that players of their caliber should focus primarily on their on-field performance and let the experts handle evaluations, player development, analytics, and coaching decisions.

“So stupid…you get paid $36 million to be a part of an audit,” Boomer said. “They are auditing you.

Boomer emphasizes that individuals like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, or LeBron James, who have achieved greatness and are considered the stars of their respective sports, would be better suited to have a say in player acquisitions. He believes that Gerrit Cole and Judge lack the expertise to contribute meaningfully to these broader decision-making processes.

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“I can think of different types of players where I would say ‘OK, I’m going to them to ask them about acquiring somebody’: Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers…I would say that about LeBron [James], who do you want to play with, simply because people are coming to watch you play and you are the star of the show, so I want to make sure you’re happy and you can get the best out of yourself by playing with who you want to play with. I would think Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, guys that have had significant success somewhere in the league and are now older in the league. I guess you can say that’s Gerrit Cole to some extent, that’s certainly not Aaron Judge.”

In conclusion, Gerrit Cole’s exceptional performance in the 2023 season has been a bright spot for the New York Yankees, even as they grapple with the disappointment of missing the playoffs. While the team faces important offseason decisions, the role of star players like Gerrit Cole and Judge in these evaluations remains a topic of debate, with varying opinions on the value they can bring to the team’s future success.

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