Former Yankees hitting coach thinks Gerrit Cole's return could key World Series run

Please. Please. Please.
Kansas City Royals v New York Yankees
Kansas City Royals v New York Yankees / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

Before there was James Rowson and his facilitation of the Patient Dawgs, there was -- briefly -- Sean Casey, who was actually the Yankees' hitting coach, in real life, last season. That actually happened.

Casey, a gregarious media personality, great hitter, and clearly nice man, dove into coaching seemingly just so he could accompany his old friend Aaron Boone down the stretch, as the Yankees attempted to revive their dead offense with paddles six weeks after they'd collectively passed away. The jolts didn't work, but Casey still got a look at the inner workings of New York's clubhouse before they added core pieces like Juan Soto and Alex Verdugo.

He liked what he saw enough to believe in a year-over-year shift, despite the team's recent struggles in Toronto. According to Casey during an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, he believes in this team's chances to "win it all" ... if they can stay healthy and welcome Gerrit Cole back at full strength, rather than as a savior of a depleted roster.

That's a big "if," based on both the Yankees' recent history and the Dodgers' chances of surging and burying the field in the second half, but still, we'll take the ringing endorsement from someone who's seen it up close.

Yankees could make a World Series run, per Sean Casey

Needless to say, this was a far better episode of The Pat McAfee Show than the one where one of his producers claimed Yoshinobu Yamamoto was a Yankee, only to be proven a fool by a swarm of actual reporters about four hours later.

The early returns from these Yankees are that they're a strong team -- patient, powerful, with improved lineup depth and a pitching staff being held together and boosted by Matt Blake. However, they couldn't be lacking Gerrit Cole more plainly; none of their starters go deep into games, or produce the required number of swings-and-misses to be viewed as true impact arms come October.

If Cole's the leader, a deadline arm joins him, Marcus Stroman takes Game 3, and Carlos Rodón/Luis Gil/Clarke Schmidt/Nesor Cortes Jr. feed off each other, this team can certainly patch together an October run. Hell, in 2009, they won the World Series relying on CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, half of AJ Burnett, and that's it.

It would take the execution of a complex master plan for these Yankees to go all the way, and they'd probably have to slay a beast in Hollywood, but April's action should have proven to most fans that there's a pathway, if the chips keep falling in the right spot. Casey sees it, too. Luckily, he's a good communicator.