Yankees ace Gerrit Cole, in large part, owes his Houston resurgence to analytical thinking. It was there that he began to emphasize his 99-100 MPH fastball at the top of the zone over his slightly slower sinker and sweeping breaking ball, which had been his modus opperandi in Pittsburgh.
Everyone, by now, knows that any successful baseball team relies on analytics and number-crunching to mine every possible advantage out of the accessible data. Every unsuccessful baseball team does, too. They're just, reliably, doing it wrong.
Whether the Yankees have a large team of research and development staffers or a tiny one (we're willing to bet it's large and Brian Cashman was lying?), the bottom line is they need to improve communication between the front office and the dugout and make sure the entire roster is bought in on their points of emphasis.
Aaron Judge, several weeks ago, voiced his concerns with the way numbers are funneled his way, talking to Hal Steinbrenner directly about his love for batting average and RBI (while Aaron Boone lobbied for more bunts). One Yankees star who will remain anonymous reportedly doesn't listen to the internal analytics team and prefers his own guys.
Now Cole, in the wake of his Cy Young win, has voiced his opinion, hoping to see potential improvements in the way the team "understands" numbers, as well as emphasizing the "why" rather than chalking repeated consequences up to bad luck. You know, kind of like the way this current administration handles the injury bug.
Yankees star Gerrit Cole wants Yankees analytics department to change their ways
Cole and Judge feel like the lone pioneers, at this point. A freak toe injury robbed Judge of another superhuman full season in 2023, but he still homered one in every 2.86 games he played, notching 37 on the year. The righty ace, after several years of somehow becoming underrated by the masses (mostly because of an easily latched-onto Spider Tack press conference and Wild Card Game at Fenway where he pitched while harboring a hamstring issue), reached his considerable ceiling and earned league-wide hardware.
Whatever led those to megastars to the place they're at now must be followed by the rest of the organization. Clarke Schmidt already puppy-dogs Cole, so why can't the analytics team? If the Yankees can't get it together in 2024, the righty's opt-out clause just became a lot more notable.