NEW YORK -- As the Yankees celebrated on the evening of Sept. 23, turning the visiting clubhouse at Rogers Centre into their personal playground, CC Sabathia remarked that their rebuilding process had been completed much sooner than anyone anticipated.
The Yankees returned to the postseason ahead of schedule, just months removed from bolstering a farm system that continues to be rated among the best in the game by offloading veterans in advance of the 2016 non-waiver Trade Deadline.
"It's the type of team we've got," Judge said. "We've got one of the best bullpens in all of baseball. We've got a stacked lineup. We like to have some fun. We go out there and just compete. We compete our butts off every single pitch."
The Yankees believe they have assembled a core that can provide sustained success, and optimism is high that World Series championship No. 28 is in the near future. Here are three reasons that it could happen as soon as this autumn:
1. Bronx Bombers
Paced by Judge (52) and Sanchez (33), the Yankees led the Majors with 241 home runs during the regular season, game-changing power that could allow them to put crooked numbers on the scoreboard in a hurry. As good as Judge's first three months were, he saved his best performance for September, vaulting back into serious consideration for the American League Most Valuable Player Award.
2. Frontline starters
Severino earned the honor of pitching in the Yankees' postseason opener by virtue of his 2.98 ERA and 230 strikeouts in 193 1/3 innings, electric numbers that suggest the right-hander's best performances are still yet to come. Sonny Gray's midseason acquisition made the Yankees all the more dangerous in a short series, supplementing Masahiro Tanaka -- who struck out a career-high 15 batters in his final regular-season start -- and Sabathia, whose reinvented arsenal continues to generate soft contact.
3. Shortening the game
As solid as his starting pitching may be, manager Joe Girardi has the luxury of turning the game over to the bullpen early, as he did numerous times in September. Chad Green's breakout season earned comparisons to Mariano Rivera's 1996 campaign, while Tommy Kahnle, Dellin Betances, Adam Warren and David Robertson are all capable of pitching multiple innings to get the ball to closer Aroldis Chapman. It is possible that Girardi could get less than 15 outs from a starter and still have a good chance of winning.
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.