Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

What Yankees Fans Should Pay Attention To in Spring Training

The New York Yankees have begun their 2024 Spring Training, so there will be a couple of points fans should keep a close eye on. These include Juan Soto‘s great start to the spring and his full adjustment to the pinstripes, a new look for Giancarlo Stanton, and how the new crop of Baby Bombers will look following their early arrivals to Tampa in January. Could there be any more changes to the roster via a trade or an acquisition? Finally, will the rotation make it out of Spring Training in one piece? All are unknowns, however, these should be the pressing matters for the Yankees’ front office over the next month.

A Yankees Fans’ Guide to 2024 Spring Training

The Big Names

There are a lot of expectations for Juan Soto and Carlos Rodón as well as a healthy amount of optimism surrounding Giancarlo Stanton. These three players should be immense contributors to the 2024 New York Yankees. Both Stanton and Rodon are returning from the worst seasons of their careers. They each finished with a negative WAR,  meaning they hurt the Yankees when they played. However, every fan can tell you that is not what both are capable of, with track records that have proven otherwise.

What have they done to make themselves better? Rodón and Stanton both arrived at Spring Training much leaner than in 2023, hoping this will allow them to stay healthy throughout the year. In recent reports, Rodon is already touching 97-98 mph on the gun, while last year he was only touching 92 mph around the same time. This is an exciting development, as Rodon was originally signed to be number 2 in the rotation behind Gerrit Cole. If he can stay healthy, then the Yankees should have a formidable rotation.

Stanton has been injury-riddled the past two seasons, missing significant game time while still hitting for good power. However, something that has concerned Yankees fans was his inability to run the base paths without the fear of an injury. It seemed as if he was almost walking around the bases to avoid any unforeseen injury. Stanton also played the field in the same manner, but with his leaner physique, this may be a thing of the past. A healthy Giancarlo Stanton would be a remarkable triumph for the Yankees and one that would terrify opposing pitchers more than they already are.

Juan Soto in Spring Training

Soto faces the most pressure on the team, as he was the big offseason acquisition during a free agency year. Most fans believe he is going to be a great hitter next to Aaron Judge. So far this seems to be the case. However, it is only Spring Training. Of course, there is also the possibility that the lights become too bright and he ends up underperforming. This is why it will be especially important to see how he interacts with his teammates and staff. If Soto gets along well with them and the fans, expect him to have another great season in 2024.

The Rotation

During Spring Training last year, the Yankees lost almost their whole rotation, except for Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes, who eventually ended up injured a few weeks later. The Yankees were down to one bonafide starter by the end of April. Clarke Schmidt was making his debut as a regular starter in 2023 and struggled early on before finding consistency during the summer months. Essentially, Cole was carrying the Yankees’ rotation for almost the whole season, where he would go on and win his first AL Cy Young Award.

This year, the rotation must stay healthy early on if the Yankees are going to push to make it to the World Series. Early in the season, hitters are not as locked in as they will be later in the season, thus the pitching staff can win a lot of games in April. So far, there have been no reported injury concerns within the rotation to take note of, which is critical. If the rotation comes out of Spring Training healthy, the Yankees will be in a good position to take off early in the division. The unfortunate injuries with the Baltimore Orioles’ rotation, and the lack of depth in the other rotations except for the Toronto Blue Jays, will favor the Yankees.

The Baby Bombers

It is now make or break for the Baby Bombers, as the Yankees cannot keep waiting for their talent to show. The  Yankees are in win-now mode due to Judge and Cole being at the zenith of their abilities. If the young guns struggle early, the Yankees may have to look elsewhere to address the field player issues. Anthony Volpe had a respectable rookie year in 2023, winning the Gold Glove. However, he needs to be more consistent at the plate and also cut down on strikeouts. Oswaldo Cabrera is supposed to be the Yankees super-utility man, being able to play almost every position and hit from both sides of the plate. In 2022, he came up and stole the show, winning the admiration of the fans early on. Since then, he has not looked like the same player, lacking overall production at the plate.

Oswald Peraza has to be on it from the get-go in 2024, as he is too valuable of a player to either not be playing at the major league level or be traded. Teams would want to trade for the young shortstop, as Cole rates him as the best defender at the position along with Carlos Correa. Ultimately, he must find a home in some way with the Yankees or he could be traded away for pitching depth. The Baby Bombers could make or break the Yankees due to how many of them will likely appear on the Opening Day roster. It is music to the ears of Yankees fans that these guys have been working with Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, and new hitting coach James Rowson since January in Tampa. They, along with the fans, will hope this translates to success in the upcoming season.

The Final Analysis

Yankees fans should be excited for the upcoming 2024 season, as the team has addressed some major areas of concern from 2023. The team has more depth than last year and has focused significantly on their health. Players have arrived in better physical shape than they did a year ago. Giancarlo Stanton and Carlos Rodon showed up slimmer, potentially taking more stress off their bodies. In theory, this should reduce the risk of an injury, but only time will tell.

The players and the front office have quite a lot of confidence in themselves. They’re not outright saying they’re going to win the World Series, but they believe the team is good enough to do so. This is not due to solely the major additions in the offseason, but also to the work each of them has done to be ready for this season. Will 2024 Spring Training answer all the questions about this Yankees team? Of course not, but fans should be able to see what the team is capable of in 2024.



More Posts

Send Us A Message