Heading into the last offseason, the general sentiment among Yankee fans was that the team’s major area of need was pitching – specifically, starting pitching. In the six-game ALCS against powerhouse Houston, the team’s lack of depth was horribly exposed. It didn’t have a true ace; it had a disappointing James Paxton, a diminished Masahiro Tanaka, and an injured Luis Severino to go along with the horror show that was JA Happ. A month later, Brian Cashman announced the signing of one of the greatest pitchers on earth.
Fast forward one year and one more gut-wrenching postseason elimination, and we’re in the same place once again. Gerrit Cole did Gerrit Cole things, but it wasn’t enough. While the season overall was a sobering reminder that putting together a baseball team is challenging, it’s somewhat shocking that the Yankees could add a pitcher of Cole’s caliber and still be left with a dearth of reliable pitching. And to add insult to injury (or injury to insult?), this year, the bullpen suffered its fair share of setbacks as well.