This article would be so much easier to write if the Yankees had a preferable, healthy option to Clarke Schmidt, wouldn't it? "Move Schmidt back to the bullpen" would've made a great bullet point, but it can't reasonably be a reality until either Luis Severino or Carlos Rodón make their way back to the big-league rotation.
In the interim, though, we do have a few additional ideas that could level up the 2023 Yankees.
These undermanned and over-injured Yanks won their first four series of the season for just the third time in 20 years. They charged back to split their fifth after the Minnesota Twins made a loud and resounding argument for supremacy in the opening two contests. At this moment in time, they are 8-0 in games they've needed to win to avoid losing series. They're towards the top of the league in home runs. Their offensive core is functioning as expected. And yet ... there are still some issues mounting, not all of them injury-related.
Though we acknowledge change isn't always this simple, these three shifts could help bolster the Yankees' chances of maintaining their early-season momentum.
3 changes we'd already make to 2023 Yankees
3. Use Greg Weissert in High-Leverage Opportunities
Weissert was finally promoted by the Yankees last week, taking Colten Brewer's slot in the bullpen following Jhony Brito's tough start. There's no telling how long he'll stay, but based on his minor-league resume and 2022 cameo, he already deserves to get some of the opportunities that have been going to Albert Abreu and Jimmy Cordero, especially with Jonathan Loaisiga on the shelf for a while longer.
Without throwing Ron Marinaccio into the first last season, he never would've gained the Yankees' trust and entered into their 2023 Iron Four (alongside Michael King, Clay Holmes, Wandy Peralta). As Holmes continues to mix unhittable wizardry with difficult outings, it seems possible that an eventual change in closers will have to be made.
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It could be Loaisiga, as long as he returns intact from elbow inflammation that landed him on the IL nearly two weeks ago. It could also be Marinaccio, though, who's proven unflappable during his year in the bigs.
That would leave Marinaccio's previous role up for grabs, and while we've seen pitchers like Abreu and Cordero used in short relief when the bullpen's been strapped this season, newcomer Ian Hamilton and Weissert seem like much wiser options. So far at Triple-A, Weissert has been remarkably strong, striking out 7 in 5.1 innings while posting a microscopic WHIP of 0.38. If he's able to continue to move past his MLB debut and display excellent control, he could provide higher upside than erratic options like Cordero or Abreu.