2 Players The 2023 Season Hinges On: New York Yankees

There are 26 players on a major league roster, and all must play a part in a team's success. But there are always a couple of X-Factor players whose performances must be there in order for the team to reach its goals.

For the New York Yankees, Aaron Judge is who he is, and so is Gerrit Cole. But who are the two players their season could hinge on?

Carlos Rodon

The Yankees signed the two-time All-Star Rodon to a massive 6-year, $162M contract this offseason. He needs to be that co-ace, or at least the rock solid No. 2 in the rotation for that to pay off.

But first, he needs to stay healthy. That was the knock on Rodon throughout his career, even after his breakout 2021 season with the Chicago White Sox. He had a fully healthy 2022, his first full season in the majors completely uninterrupted by injuries. 

Now, he's already hurt before the 2023 season even begins. Rodon will start the year on the injured list because of a left forearm muscle strain. 

The Yankees' season just could hinge on Rodon's health.

Giancarlo Stanton

Aaron Judge is clearly the linchpin of the offense, but he needs that protection in the lineup to be all that he can be. That's where Stanton is desperately needed. 

He batted a career-low .211 last season, with a personal worst .759 OPS. And he missed 50 games due to injuries. The Yankees need a full season from Stanton to make that offense strike fear into opponents.

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