New York Yankees Worry Meter Hits New High

new york yankees

Unlike most seasons, the New York Yankees are an enigma in 2023. Everyone assumed they were title contenders, but with a ravaged pitching staff and lineup, how worried are we about these depleted Yankees?

Prepare for the intense sports debate that only sibling rivalry can conjure. Seesaw Sports, where Dan Salem and Todd Salem throw down on the NFL, MLB, NBA and more. Only on BuzzChomp. Two brothers from New York yell, scream and debate sports.


On Thursday, the MLB season gets under way. For once, every team in the league will get going on the same day, making Opening Day the event it should be. However, it’s fair to say not every team is taking things as seriously as others. You can tell two things right away by a team’s Opening Day starter: (1) How good their roster is and (2) If they are going to be serious contenders in the current season.

For example, Arizona might not be a contender, but we know the Diamondbacks have some talent with Zac Gallen toeing the rubber in game one. The same cannot be said for many other teams. Here is a brief list of teams that can be ruled out of the 2023 postseason based on nothing more than the name of their Opening Day starting pitcher.

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Teams Eliminated: Oakland Athletics, Colorado Rockies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Royals, Detroit Tigers, Washington Nationals, Boston Red Sox, and Baltimore Orioles

Moving on to some blue blood contenders, the first game of the season (starting simultaneously with Braves-Nats) sees the New York Yankees face the San Francisco Giants. New York has been in much of the talk this spring training, both positively and negatively. Despite the uniqueness of a team’s opening day starter determining their success, we point our binoculars on the Yankees who pose their own unique question. This was a championship team, but it is now ravaged. How worried are we about the New York Yankees?


New York Yankees Worry Meter

new york yankees


Todd Salem: Hesitantly Disquieted About Yankees

I’ll start with the good for New York entering the season. The Yankees are projected to have the second-most wins in the American League this year. The lineup is powerful, led by Aaron Judge, Anthony Rizzo, and Giancarlo Stanton. Twenty one-year-old rookie Anthony Volpe had such a good spring that he made the 25-man roster to start the year and is likely to be plugged in as the everyday shortstop. Young players have ups and downs, but Volpe already earning his spot means we could be seeing the next generational talent at the shortstop position for years (decades?) to come.

Now the bad. We have yet to reach game one, and injuries are already ravaging this pitching staff. The supposed deepest rotation in baseball is decimated. Only Gerrit Cole remains of the fearsome top five (though Nestor Cortes was simply delayed in his spring prep and is not expected to miss a start). Frankie Montas is out for at least half the year, maybe the entire year. Luis Severino is an unknown considering his injury history and him re-aggravating his lat. He could be out multiple weeks or longer. Carlos Rodon is week-to-week at this point.

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The bullpen is also down a number of arms thanks to preseason injuries. The Yankee pen is already more up-in-the-air this season than it’s been in a very long time, adding insult to injury. After Cole, there is no bankable pitching healthy right now.

You can tell I’m feeling slightly pessimistic at the end of March. The over/under win totals were based on the expectation of this team having the very best pitching staff in the sport. They no longer have anything close. The lineup is not deep at all either. And yet, the stars on this team are still of the upper echelon. It will be so fun to watch Volpe, as well as Oswaldo Cabrera and some of the young arms get a chance. 

I already began by ruling out two fifths of the AL East from contention. It’s not like the Yankees are going to be overwhelmed by superior opponents day after day. On day one though, consulting the worry meter, let’s just say I’m hesitantly disquieted.


new york yankees
(Mike Stobe/Getty Images/TNS)


Dan Salem: Pensively Aggressive About Yankees

We began so casually equating a team’s opening day starter to season long success, and then dove headfirst into a dissection of our favorite team. The New York Yankees will be fine, because this is/will be April baseball and it’s utterly inconclusive. Many teams will lose their season during the first month, but not a single team will win it. Starting hot and racking up wins in April never means anything. Losing a ton of games early almost always puts a nail in your team’s coffin. This will not be the Yankees, because they still have Aaron Judge and Gerrit Cole. New York can survive April.

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Injuries hit the Yankees in the worst way last season. They unhinged the team in August with little time to recover, and New York was visibly different by the time playoff baseball began. Now we are getting injuries before the season even begins, which is probably the ideal time for them to happen. The starting rotation is something to watch, but I’m confident Clay Holmes will anchor the bullpen like he did during the first half of last year. I’m confident that these Yankees see what they let slip away last year and will be ready to face Houston when money is on the line. Scoring will be up this season, because Major League Baseball needs and wants it to be. This favors the New York Yankees, placing my worry meter at pensively aggressive.

Can we truly eliminate teams based on their opening day starter? I challenge you readers to find the numbers on this, or at least analyze the 2023 season to see what transpires.  We have 30 starting pitchers for 30 teams. These are the 30 aces around the league who are healthy to begin the year. Is your team’s ace ranked in the top 15 of starting pitchers? If not, consider your team eliminated. You will not be in contention for the playoffs, let alone a championship. Presumably this approach will remove half the league from the playoff conversation, but who knows!

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I’m too afraid to eliminate Boston, because they seem to be good every other year, meaning the Red Sox are due. Yet the analytics don’t lie and aside from the Yankees, who else is truly a contender this season? Houston and the Dodgers are obviously high on the list, just like last year. We labeled them the clear top three in 2022 and I’m not altering the list for 2023. Look at that, we came full circle back to discussing season long success. Here’s to the Yankees getting healthy as other teams just begin to deal with their own set of injuries. Here’s to our team’s hesitantly disquieted, yet pensively aggressive success!


Meet our Writers:

Dan Salem is Lead Editor, Writer, and Co-owner of BuzzChomp. He’s a published author, as well as an award winning Actor, Director and Producer. Visit M Square Productions for his film work, or get lost in his old-school comedy on Pillow Talk TV. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Todd Salem is a Staff Writer and Contributing Editor at BuzzChomp. He’s also a fantasy football and fantasy baseball Staff Writer for RotoBaller. Follow him on Twitter or comment below for his unfiltered opinions.

New York Yankees Photo Credits: and via Getty Images

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