Over the next two weeks, the New York Yankees will have faced the first-place Tampa Bay Rays for 4-games; the fourth-place Toronto Blue Jays for 4-more; and then the second-place Baltimore Orioles for a trio to cap off the two week run.

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Cincinnati is thrown-in for three, in-the-middle, but the point is, all of the aforementioned teams are in front of the Bronx Bombers in the American League East and the Wild Card race. This could be a "franchise directional" stretch.

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General manager Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone are facing daily scrutiny by fans and the New York sports media. Consistent injuries to Giancarlo Stanton, in addition to pitchers Frankie Montas and Carlos Rodón have only increased questions surrounding Cashman's construction of this roster. The Pinstripe faithful are deep with speculation that this team is unlikely to make a run at a World Series in 2023. Maybe, but let's remember at the end of May last season, the Philadelphia Phillies were 8 games under .500 and a very unlikely World Series candidate.

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Thursday's opening of the four-game series against the Rays was disappointing. New York got great starting pitching out of Domingo Germán but the Yanks' bullpen failed miserably. In addition, you can't win when you don't score runs. For 8-innings at home, the Bronx Bombers were quiet, mustering 2 singles by left-fielder Jake Bauers. That's it. However, the Yankees line-up is getting healthier.

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With Aaron Judge and Harrison Bader back in the Pinstripes line-up, the Yankees offense should begin to settle in. If it doesn't, the Yankees don't want to find themselves in a situation like their crosstown friends the Mets; a roster with obvious holes, saddled with bloated contracts. However, the Yankees situation is way better than the Mets. On top of Judge and Bader returning to deepen the Bombers line-up, right-handed starter Luis Severino is on his way back, as early as next week. Left-handed starter Carlos Rodón appears closer to "day-to-day" than "out for the year." Help is on the way.

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This is a seasoned group. The New York Yankees may be in last place in the American League East in mid-May, but there is better chance than not, that Brian Cashman and Aaron Boone guide the Pinstripes back into the playoffs in 2023. From there, anything can happen. The Yankees team is talented enough and experienced enough to go deep on a playoff run (just see the Phillies from 2022). Yankees fans should show some patience. If New York can stay within a few games of the Wild Card by the All Star break, Boone will have the Bombers in the October tournament. From there, anything can happen.

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