‘Tis the season, isn’t it, folks? Whether you’re in the midst of celebrating Hanukkah or gearing up for Christmas or Kwanza, or the Winter Solstice, or whatever you celebrate, it’s the holiday season. In that spirit–and in the spirit of keeping safe and healthy in our celebrations this holiday season–here’s a list of my holiday wishes for some Yankees.
Gary Sanchez: For Gary, I wish a year of no tinkering and no tampering with his approach behind the plate. We’ve heard via Luke Voit that Gary is already working to correct his poor hitting in 2020 and that’s what he needs. What I think he doesn’t need–and I’ve expressed this before–is another round of fiddling with his catching. Sanchez will likely never be a great blocker, maybe not even a good one, but even without the tampering last year, he was a decent framer. He also calls a good game and has a rocket arm. Let him focus on what he’s good at behind the plate so that his struggles and adjustments there don’t carry over to the plate like they did in 2020.
Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, and Luke Voit: For these three, I wish for fully healthy and productive seasons. The former is asking a lot, especially so of Hicks and Judge, but I so badly want these three to play 140+ games in 2021 to show off what they can really do. Given their levels of talent and previous levels of production, all three could be MVP candidates with full seasons under their belts.
Gleyber Torres: For Gleyber, the wish is clear and the same one I assume any of you would have if you were writing this piece: improved fielding. While Torres had a down year at the plate, it’s the defensive woes at shortstop that were most concerning. I’m confident his offense can recover, but the Yankees need his defense to be better if they aren’t going to move him off short. Granted, they lived with Derek Jeter at short for how long, but improvement would be more than welcomed. The trick here will be avoiding the same pitfalls that seem to have befallen Sanchez in which defensive tinkering leads to offensive struggles.
Luis Severino: Hey, remember Sevy? All I want for Sevy is health. Whether or not the results are there when he comes back, presumably mid-season, from his Tommy John Surgery recovery, matters less than his health. Since this is a wish, let’s do so for health and results, but settle for health.
Gerrit Cole: Sticking with pitchers, let’s wish for Gerrit Cole’s home run issues to resolve themselves, one way or another. Everything about his performance last year was fantastic and he lived up to the hype. If he brings down the home runs just a touch, he’s going to win the Cy Young in a full season.
Clint Frazier: For Clint, I wish a real breakout, a full season breakout, not one interrupted by injuries or demotions. After 2020, he’s earned his spot as this team’s left fielder going forward. It’s been a longer wait than we thought it would be for various reasons, but it’s time for Frazier to turn into the star we’ve always known he can be. I wish for–and see–big things ahead for Clint in 2021.
What wishes do you, dear readers, have for our beloved Bronx Bombers this holiday season?