Well, after August it had to get better right? Well, thankfully, it did! Winning 17-8 on the month, it was the best month that the Yankees had since June. July had been ordinary. August was appalling, but September was just what the Yankees needed to head into the post-season.
Some new faces settled into the squad. Some players came back from injury.
Unfortunately, others like Andrew Benintendi and DJ LeMahieu picked up injuries. And then there was Aaron Judge. Oh boy, there was Aaron Judge!!
|Andrew Benintendi lf||1||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1.000||1.000||2.000||3.000|
|Aaron Judge of||25||84||26||35||8||0||10||17||1||30||26||.417||.565||.869||1.434|
|Gleyber Torres 2b/ss||23||91||14||29||5||0||6||23||4||11||24||.319||.388||.571||.959|
|Oswald Peraza if||13||32||5||10||3||0||0||1||1||3||6||.313||.405||.406||.811|
|Kyle Higashioka c||14||42||5||12||2||0||1||6||0||1||7||.286||.295||.405||.700|
|Isiah Kiner-Falefa ss||21||77||12||21||2||0||3||10||6||8||9||.273||.341||.416||.757|
|Aaron Hicks of||18||53||10||14||4||0||2||7||1||4||17||.264||.316||.453||.769|
|Oswaldo Cabrera if/of||24||85||17||22||5||0||5||16||3||10||27||.259||.333||.494||.827|
|Josh Donaldson 3b/dh||19||74||12||18||1||0||3||10||0||8||22||.243||.329||.378||.707|
|Anthony Rizzo 1b||9||37||4||9||2||0||2||4||0||2||6||.243||.333||.459||.792|
|Tim Locastro of||10||9||3||2||1||0||0||0||1||0||1||.222||.222||.333||.555|
|Miguel Andujar of/if||8||29||2||6||0||0||1||3||0||1||6||.207||.233||.310||.543|
|Harrison Bader cf||10||30||3||6||1||0||0||7||1||2||13||.200||.242||.233||.475|
|Estevan Florial cf||9||11||3||2||0||0||0||0||1||2||5||.182||.308||.182||.490|
|Jose Trevino c||18||52||1||9||2||0||0||5||0||0||12||.173||.173||.212||.385|
|Giancarlo Stanton of/dh||21||77||10||11||1||0||4||11||0||8||37||.143||.224||.312||.536|
|Marwin Gonzalez if/of||16||42||7||5||0||0||2||5||1||4||11||.119||.208||.262||.470|
|Ronald Guzman if||3||6||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||5||.000||.000||.000||.000|
|DJ LeMahieu if||4||15||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||.000||.063||.000||.063|
Jose Trevino was still very much the first choice catcher. Trevino missed 4 days on the paternity list. Consequently, Kyle Higashioka had a slightly larger percentage of the appearances on the month than he had recently, and he took good advantage of this hitting .286 with 3 extra base hits. Trevino’s form slipped. He hit only .173 with a couple of doubles. Both catchers were on good form defensively and Trevino’s framing was exceptionally great.
From the 6th of the month until the 18th, Anthony Rizzo was another of the Yankees who needed to spend time on the injured list. He was suffering with headpains with no obvious cause. When he returned to the roster, he had a run of reasonable form. Across the month, he appeared in 9 games. He hit .243 with only 4 extra base hits. It seems it will take him a little time to get his power stroke where he needs it to be.
Gleyber Torres continued to be very much the Yankees choice of second baseman, and in September he had perhaps is most consistent month of the season. He hit .319 and added in 11 extra base hits to add spice. He appeared in 23 games, which was second only to the previously mentioned Judge.
Josh Donaldson was the third baseman that the Yankees relied upon, accept for on 4 days when he also was on the paternity list. On those days, Isiah Kiner-Falefa shifted over from shortstop. Kiner-Falefa won a gold glove whilst playing for the Texas Rangers at third base, so he was not just a make do in that role. Donaldson played in a lot more games than Rizzo, the first baseman this month, but like him hit .243 with 4 extra base hits. Whether the Yankees will want to persist with Donaldson in 2023 is a big question. Their alternative would seem to be to swallow a chunk of his contract, if they want somebody else to find a space for him on their roster.
Kiner-Falefa, the Yankees’ shortstop, also had one of his better months. He still doesn’t have a lot of power, but his three home runs this month was certainly a step in the right direction. Overall, he hit .273 with 5 extra base hits.
Oswald Peraza made his debut and appeared in 13 games. He started at shortstop in 8 games and was used as a defensive replacement in the others. He hit .313 with 3 doubles – a great start for Peraza.
Marwin Gonzalez, DJ LeMahieu and journeyman, Ronald Guzman also took roles especially covering for Rizzo at first base. Gonzalez was another who started the month on the paternity list, and this month with him hitting .119, was pretty much a washout. Having him around has been a great advantage for the Yankees, given the range of positions he can play. But with the emergence of Oswaldo Cabrera, it is unlikely that the Yankees would be interested in extending Gonzalez’s stay unless Carbrera does well enough to earn himself a regular defensive role in one position. LeMahieu played a little time at first and second, but his ongoing problems with his toe aand right foot made him unavailable for most of the month. Consequently, Ronald Guzman was brought in. He had appeared in a handful of games for Texas in 2021, but hadn’t really contributed much at the major league level since 2019. He started in one game and came in as a substitute in 2 more. He didn’t trouble the statisticians much.
Aaron Judge entered September with 51 home runs. From the 3rd to the 7th, he hit a home run in four consecutive games, bringing him to 55. Roger Maris‘ American League single season record was well within his sight. On the 13th, he hit two homers. There were two more on the 18th against Milwaukee. The 19th was a day off, but the 20th brought another homer in Yankee Stadium whilst facing the pitchers of Pittsburgh. That brought him to 60, and a tie with George Herman “Babe” Ruth. On the last day of September, he hit another in a game facing Baltimore to tie Maris’ record. What will happen in October? Teams were now trying to pitch around Judge, but with little success. In addition to all those homers, he hit 8 doubles and a .417 batting average. Among the regulars, he led in batting average, hits, extra base hits, walks, on base percentage, slugging and OPS. In addition, he came in second in RBIs to Torres.
Injuries gave Aaron Hicks another opportunity to shine. In the 18 games appeared in, he fared better than he had for most of the season. He spent most of the time covering for Benintendi who was victim of right wrist inflammation and was placed on the injured list on the 3rd of September. Prior to his injury, Benintendi hit one hit in one at bat – a double. In his place, Hicks hit .264. He picked up six extra base hits, but struggled defensively. The Yankees have big decisions to make about Hicks, who will still be under contract in 2023 and beyond, but even with his better form this month there is little to recommend him for the future.
Harrison Bader made an unremarkable start after his arrival from St. Louis. He did not return from injury (the Yankees took him on already injured) until the 20th. He slotted in at centrefield with Judge moving back to right. He hit .200 with just one extra base hit. The Yankees have given him a lot to prove.
Oswald Cabrera spent more time in the outfield than the infield, and he was used in leftfield, rightfield and second base. He hit 10 extra base hits and .259. Defensively, he has some ground to make up on some of the others who are part of the Yankees picture at the moment.
Tim Locastro and Miguel Andujar were also given opportunities, in addition to young centre fielder, Estevan Florial. Of these, Tim Locastro’s .222 was the pick of the bunch which speaks volumes about the performance of the other two. Andujar was designated for assignment after refusing a move back to Scranton.
Giancarlo Stanton was far-and-away first choice at designated hitter. The Yankees weren’t going to risk him in the outfield after his most recent injury, but even without that extra burden, his batting was weak. He hit only .224, but 4 home runs added a little brightness to this part of his season.
New York Yankees’ best batters in September – 1 to 5 – (LtoR): Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, Oswald Peraza, Isiah Kiner Falefa, Kyle Higashioka