New York Yankees: 3 Burning Questions Heading Into the 2022 Season

Just like each and every year it seems, the New York Yankees will compete for the American League East division title. The team was able to bring back a number of key players from last season and head into opening day for 2022 with an expectation to compete for a world series title. While fans will have to wait an extra day for first pitch, let's take a look at three questions about the Yanks as we kick off the 2022 season:

Can Gerrit Cole Get Back to Dominating? 

We all saw how much Gerrit Cole's dominance changed once they started to enforce the 'sticky substance' crack down and it's hard to say exactly if that was the only cause of some of his late seasons struggles last season. During this spring he managed to pitch 5.1 innings of work and gave up six hits, four runs, two HR and did manage to strike out 10. The Yankees are going to need the very best out of Cole every fifth day as the AL east is one of the most competitive divisions in the league. Last season the right-hander finished with a 14-7 record and the team is hopeful he can build off this and continue to make hitters swing and miss.

Will the Veterans Produce at the Corners?

With Anthony Rizzo and Josh Donaldson manning first and third for the Yanks, there's certainly going to be a giant spotlight cast on them to be consistent producers and to stay on the field. Donaldson's had a history of calf issues and even during the spring we saw times where he was running limp into second base. If he's able to get back to his MVP form, look out, but this is someone who has dealt with leg issues and dead arm in the past, so there's a ton of unknown. As for Rizzo, he appeared in 49 games last season after the trade from the Chicago Cubs and managed to collect eight HR and 21 RBI. He's a career .268 hitter so Yankee fans are hopeful he can bring more to the table than the .249 from last season. If New York wants to be the last team standing in the AL east, they will need both of these players to turn back the clock.

Does Aaron Judge Stay in the Bronx?

The 29-year-old outfielder has given management a clear deadline of opening day for his new contract extension and from all accounts it doesn't sound like anything will be finalized before then. Aaron Judge is eligible for free agency after this season and even though he's soon to be 30 years old, there will be a boat load of teams showing up to negotiations with very deep pockets. Judge is still one of the best outfielders in the game and is coming off a season where he hit .287 with 39 HR and 98 RBI. Look for a very similar season out of the towering right-fielder and if the Yankees don't lock him up after the season, get ready for a wild bidding war.

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