Despite Yankees’ Mediocre Season, Gerrit Cole Wins AL Cy Young Award
New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole was awarded the 2023 A.L. Cy Young Award Wednesday. It is the six-time All-Star’s first Cy Young and marks a bright spot in an otherwise forgettable Yankees season.
“I’m very proud of this season,” Cole said. “I’m very proud of some of the other seasons where I made a pretty strong run at this award as well. There was a lot of momentum going into this.”
In 33 starts in 2023, Cole earned a 15-4 record with a 2.63 ERA and 222 strikeouts. It was not the best season of his career from a statistical standpoint, nor did Cole lead his team to the postseason as he did for the Houston Astros. But while the Yankees struggled to consistently produce all season, Cole delivered as the ace, holding up his end of the nine-year, $324 million contract he signed with the team in 2020.
While Cole dominated on the mound, the Yankees’ struggles beyond him were expansive. Without 2022 A.L. MVP Aaron Judge for part of the season, the team’s offense stalled going into the summer and never fully recovered. New York finished the season scoring the 25th least runs.
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Meanwhile, pitching besides Cole was an issue as well.
2022 All-Star Nestor Cortes only made 12 starts in a season hampered by injury. Several weeks after throwing a perfect game, Domingo German was forced to leave the team after an altercation with manager Aaron Boone. Carlos Rodon, who signed a six-year, $162 million deal last offseason, was largely ineffective and only made 14 starts.
With nearly everything going wrong, the Yankees did not buy or sell at the trade deadline and limped to an 82-80 record, missing the postseason for the first time since 2016. The team is reportedly targeting several free agents this offseason, possibly even two-way star Shohei Ohtani. Cole and Judge will be starring for the team to build around, though things will have to improve swiftly for the team to re-enter serious contention for a championship.
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