Oh, player regressions ruining the New York Yankees? Heard that one before? Sadly, it’s been a trend for three straight years now. The 2017 roster seemed to be a springboard for the next dynasty … but instead it’s been a bridge to constant disappointment.
Injuries have played a role here, too, don’t get us wrong, but the inexplicable slides from previous contributors have left the team unable to deal with health issues. The 2020 season featured a near playoff-less campaign. The 2021 season was the most disappointing start-to-finish year for any contender in modern history. The 2022 season was supposed to be “special” and it’s now instead “regular” with a chance of “epic collapse”.
There’s plenty of blame to go around. The only people who perhaps can’t be tagged with any fault are Aaron Judge, Nestor Cortes and Anthony Rizzo, all of whom have been consistent this year. Everyone else has either been missing for a decent stretch, completely fell off after the first half, didn’t build off of a promising 2021, or have now been unable to get back on track for years.
The root cause of the problem? General manager Brian Cashman. He’s the common denominator. He’s either signed or traded for all of these guys and, on top of that, has given one or more of them far too many chances.
When the middle of October hits, it’ll become clearer that all of these decisions that led to these player contributions were the reasons the Yankees fell short.
4 Yankees regressions that will cost them the 2022 World Series
4. Aroldis Chapman
For the man who should’ve been gone after the 2019 season, Aroldis Chapman doesn’t deserve to be any higher on this list, solely because he hasn’t been important to the Yankees for three years now. His latest issue — a leg infection stemming from his 600th tattoo — has left the bullpen thin and landed him on the IL.
In looking at Chapman’s numbers, his obvious regression began last year, even though fans would argue 2020 was the true starting point. Nonetheless, we’ll give him a “pass” because the pandemic season was bad for everyone.
Nonetheless, in 97 game since the start of last year, the left-hander is 8-7 with a 3.83 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and >4.00 FIP. Last year was the beginning. This year has been the full blown experience. Chapman’s been losing his fastball, but has been unable to supplement it with serviceable secondary offerings. He’s far from a closer at this point — just a $16 million reliever who’s been the architect of far more heartache than success.
Now that he’s not even a viable bullpen contributor, he’ll provide his one final death knell for the Yankees.