For the first time since 2017, Joe Girardi will be associated with the New York Yankees as he returns to the area to be a game analyst for YES Network.

Joe Girardi managed the New York Yankees for 10 seasons.ASSOCIATED PRESS

The former player turned manager has a unique perspective about the game — and especially the Yankees, where he won a World Series during his 10-year managerial stint that ended with an ALCS loss, the sixth time he reached the playoffs in New York.

After missing the playoffs in 2023 with an 82-80 record, the Yankees and many experts predict much better results in 2024. Does Girardi? Yes, but it comes with a huge caveat.

“I actually like their team,” Girardi told Newsday in a story published Tuesday. “Like so many other teams, what’s the health [going to be]? But I expect a lot of players to have bounce-back years.

“Their pitching was pretty good last year. When you look at where they ranked, it was definitely good enough to be in the playoffs. But they struggled offensively, and I think they’ve added a lot to the lineup.”

Health is the key for any team but it’s especially notable for the Yankees, who have a number of veterans and injury-prone ones at that. In fact, injuries have already wrecked some early optimism.

Gerrit Cole is dealing with an elbow injury that is likely to sideline him for around two months. Aaron Judge missed time in camp because of an abdominal injury. DJ LeMahieu will start on the injured list because of a bruised foot.