A Successful 2017 Season With Potential for Future Success
By: Kenny Velez
The New York Yankees certainly exceeded expectations in 2017.
Many have said that this would be a rebuilding year for the team after they traded several players after the 2016 season. In their place, several rookies were called up and given a chance to play in the Majors.
Among them are Gary Sanchez and likely AL Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge, who became stars for the team this past season.
Both are home run hitters, with Sanchez hitting 33 home runs and Judge hitting a rookie record 52 home runs this regular season.
A lot of other rookies got called up and made their debuts this season, such as Clint Frazier and Miguel Andujar, but none of them lasted the entire season, serving as replacements for injured players.
Once the injured players returned, most of the rookies were sent back to the minors.
Didi Gregorius missed the beginning of the season with an arm injury he suffered in the World Baseball Classic. Gregorius returned from his injury to help the Yankees, especially in the postseason, where he hit three home runs.
Sanchez also missed some time in April and May, but still was able to produce offensively.
The Yankees struggled in June and July. During this time, their bullpen became utterly ineffective.
The reliever who struggled most of all was Tyler Clippard, whose ERA rose to 4.95. During this time, Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances spent time on the DL.
The Yankees lost many games during that time, and released first baseman Chris Carter, who was prone to striking out during most of his at-bats. They also traded Clippard to the White Sox for former Yankee David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle and Todd Frazier.
First baseman Greg Bird was out for most of the season with an ankle injury he sustained during spring training, attempting to play through it in April, but never could.
As a result, he served a lengthy stint on the DL. It was not known if Bird would return in 2017, but he returned later in the season despite many setbacks, and played well in the postseason.
Many of their other position players went down with injuries, including Aaron Hicks and Starlin Castro. Chapman briefly lost his closer role due to his struggles, but he was able to earn it back before the season was over.
Despite all the adversity, the Yankees were still contenders in the American League East race up until the last week of the season. At one point, they led the division until the Boston Red Sox came back and maintained their lead.
The Yankees were able to clinch the top wild card spot, hosting the Minnesota Twins, the team that was able to withstand most of the American League to grab the second wild card position.
In the Wild Card game, The Twins got to Luis Severino in the first inning and knocked him out of the game.
The Yankees answered back in the second inning, taking the lead and eventually winning the game, advancing them to the American League Division Series against the Cleveland Indians.
In the ALDS, the Yankees lost game one to the Indians. They had a five run lead in game two, but the Indians came out on top in extra innings, going up 2-0.
Once the series came to Yankee Stadium, the momentum of the series shifted.
The Yankees won both of their home games, and won the decisive game five in Cleveland, 5-2.
They moved on to the ALCS and faced the Houston Astros, but could not win a game on the road.
The Astros reached the World Series after winning the series in seven games, sending the Yankees home after an incredible run.
After the season came to a close, Joe Girardi was relieved his duties as manager after 10 seasons.
If this was merely a rebuilding year for the Yankees, they will be certainly be scary as a completed team.