All Rise: What the 2023 New York Yankees need to do to win World Series this season
⚾️ New York Yankees continue pursuit in 2023 of World Series title #28
⚾️ Yankees beat reporter Bryan Hoch breaks down the 2023 squad
⚾️ He also discusses who will play where and what the Yankees need to do this season
For an update on how things are going so far in spring training down in Florida and what needs to happen for them to be the last team standing in October, New York Yankees beat reporter Bryan Hoch from mlb.com and yankees.com joined me for a pre-recorded discussion that ran on Shore Sports Talk on 94.3 The Point this morning.
The New York Yankees are looking for a pallet cleanser following a sweep at the hands of their newest playoff foe, the Houston Astros, at the end of 2022.
"They have to figure out a way to get over that mountain top," Hoch said. "The great regular season performance doesn't mean anything. Obviously, they want to go win the American League East because that's their first step towards getting to a World Series championship."
The Yankees are again this season looking to win their 28th World Series title and first since 2009 when they defeated the Philadelphia Phillies.
"2009 was a long time ago and none of these guys on the current roster were around for that," Hoch said. "This (2023) team hasn't tasted victory. Anthony Rizzo's one of the few guys who has a World Series ring in that room, but it came with the Chicago Cubs (in 2016) not the Yankees."
It's felt like an eternity for Yankees fans as well.
Yankees need their pitching staff to be aces
The Yankees have had top notch pitching when they've won championships in the past and they now have a staff of aces heading into the 2023 season that should stack up against the tough Astros but the rest of MLB as well.
While the new arm to the rotation, Carlos Rodon, is out for now but is expected back in April, the Yankees will have Cole, Rodon, Severino, Cortes to start with German and Schmidt factoring in as well for the long haul this season.
"If they fast forward to October and they're all healthy, I like their chances when you have that rotation and you're running them out there," Hoch said. "In a short postseason series, I think they can definitely handle any kind of challenges that come their way."
Strength of the Yankees bullpen
The Yankees have a lot of good arms in the bullpen, but they need to get and stay healthy and then be effective this season.
"I think (Clay) Holmes is going to be your closer to begin the season, I wouldn't be surprised to see Jonathan Loasiga get some opportunities there," Hoch said.
It was an up and down season for the Yankees closer in 2022 that needs to bounce back in 2023 for the team to go far.
"Holmes as an extreme ground ball pitcher was so effective in the first half last year and he had the shoulder issue that kind of curtailed his effectiveness in the 2nd half, but he appears to be back to form," Hoch said.
"They love Loasiga's stuff in the late innings, Wandy Peralta is a force especially during the postseason, it seemed like he was pitching almost every single day -- what I really like about this staff is they have a healthy Michael King back."
They'll also have Toms River native and Toms River High School North alumni, Ron Marinaccio, back in the bullpen for 2023.
"With King and Marinaccio back in the bullpen -- those were two guys they did not have in the postseason last year -- those are definitely difference makers in this bullpen," Hoch said.
Yankees need their offense to step up this season
The Yankees offense largely disappeared in the playoffs, especially against the Astros, and part of that was health and missing some pieces but it was mostly just ineffectiveness.
They have their full lineup of talent and then some this year and it'll have to turn things around.
It starts with D.J. LeMahieu being back and healthy bouncing back from a nagging toe injury and returning to the .330/.340 type hitter the Yankees once saw.
"That's what he's looked like so far here, I haven't seen him slowed at all. Obviously, it's something he'll have to manage over the course of 162, that's a long season, but, right now, he looks fantastic," Hoch said.
As for the rest of the field and lineup, there's a lot of bright spots.
However, there were some ups and downs last season.
So, can the Yankees offense play like expected?
"I think so, even with that second half swoon, they still did lead the league in runs scored and that's the name of the game. Obviously, a lot of that was based on that hot start in the beginning and they got contributions from guys they weren't necessarily counting on -- for example, Matt Carpenter who came in mid-season and suddenly just seemed to be hitting a homerun every other day," Hoch said.
The offense into the 2023 season is filled with a ton of power potential.
"I don't think Judge is going to get another 62, but he could, I'm not going to rule it out, I think more likely you're going to see him somewhere in the 40's," Hoch said.
The Yankees also need Giancarlo Stanton to be healthy, in the lineup, and hitting for power.
"He's such a big piece of this lineup -- he was huge in the first half, won the MVP of the All-Star Game and then was really, absent, for most of the second half," Hoch said.
They do have a slugging Anthony Rizzo playing first base again this year thanks to a new contract.
"Rizzo is coming off a year where he tied his career high with 32 homers," Hoch said.
What are the other Yankees headlines heading into the season?
You can listen to the conversation that I had with Bryan Hoch below.