It hasn't been the smoothest start to the season for the New York Yankees in 2023.

The team hasn't been bad, per say, but they haven't been stellar, and are quickly losing ground in a competitive American League East. Every team, including the Bombers, are above .500 right now, and because of this, the Yankees are currently sitting at the back of the pack in the division.

Marred by injuries and mired in mediocrity, the team is again struggling to live up to their own high expectations. General Manager Brian Cashman spoke to the media on Wednesday, and addressed two major reasons why the team has started in such a sluggish way.

Where did Cashman lay the blame?

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Blame No. 1: Himself

Brian Cashman first looked inward when laying blame for his team's early season struggles, holding himself accountable for some of the questionable roster decisions made with this year's team.

He reflected on decisions that he and the front office made when putting the team's roster together in 2023, and commented on how certain decisions have not paid dividends in the early going.

Aaron Judge Press Conference
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Here's what Cashman had to say about the team's roster construction:

"Every move we make is intended to help us. For the successes, you don't focus on that. But the failures, that's my responsibility and take full accountability for those." - Brian Cashman

It's refreshing to hear a team executive speak about their own decisions in such an honest way. Of course, Cashman is not the only one involved in decisions on the team's roster, but as the "figurehead" of the front office, he is lauded when the roster performs well, and is chastised when the team struggles.

Getty Images
Getty Images

To his credit, however, the team has had to rely heavily on players that were not originally in the "picture" at the beginning of the season. Franchy Cordero, Willie Calhoun and Oswald Peraza are among the many names that have already played far more innings of baseball with the Yankees this year than anyone would've expected of them.

Blame No. 2: Injuries

The players mentioned above are being relied upon so heavily because of injuries, a concept that was also blamed by Brian Cashman during his chat with the media. Cashman did admit that the team has been decimated by injuries through the season's first month, a trend that has diminished the team's production significantly.

Cleveland Guardians v New York Yankees
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Here's what Cashman had to say about the team's struggles with the injury bug:

"... Obviously, it's not the team that we put together. We've got a lot of injuries, so we had to turn our attention to some alternative choices. Obviously, we're not playing our best baseball with what we currently have." - Brian Cashman

Cashman's statement here is spot-on, and it's a reason why fans aren't pressing the panic button, just yet.

Cleveland Guardians v New York Yankees
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Okay, some might be pressing it, but not everyone.

It's important to keep in-mind that we've only played one month of baseball to this point. Teams ride winning streaks, and go through losing streaks, throughout the entire season. The Tampa Bay Rays will come "back to Earth" at some point, as will the Baltimore Orioles, and an American League East title will once again be up-for-grabs.

That said, one has to wonder if this Yankees' team has the durability to compete into late September, October, and even November.

When healthy, veterans help teams win championships. When injured, however, they can hold you back. Which side of the coin will the Yankees land on in 2023?

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