Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Can It Get Worse For The New York Yankees

I was planning to write one of these near the end of Spring Training but I have to wonder: Can Things Get Worse For The New York Yankees. The Yankee haters are loving what they see and the network bigwigs at Fox who love the Yankee rating shares are hating what they see. Both sides see a team that might be at risk of not only missing the postseason but a team that might be left behind in a division that was already believed to be best in Baseball. Add to the mix a Boston Red Sox team that many pundits have also not making the playoffs, you're looking at the possibility that both the Yankees AND the Red Sox might not make the playoffs for the first time together since 1993. This season looks like one of the most craziest in a long time.

With Curtis Granderson, Phil Hughes, Mark Teixiera and Alex Rodriguez all out with injuries AND Yankee Captain Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Michael Pineda are coming off major surgeries, things are looking bleak in the Bronx. As it was, I said the Bronx Bombers nom-de-guerre might have been a bit misnamed for this particular team and this was before Tex's wrist injury.

Last season Granderson, Teixiera and Rodriguez accounted for a combined 85 homers and 247 RBI. Add the departing Raul Ibanez's 18 homers and 62 RBI with Russell Martin's 21 RBI and 53 RBI and that's a whopping 124 homers and 362 RBI that is missing from last year's franchise setting record of 245 homeruns. Five players alone made up roughly 50.2% of the entire team's power production. Not good folks.

So what are the Yankees to do this season. Now this is no way indicative of what the lineup will look like, but here is what I think it may look like come opening day:
Derek Jeter SS
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Travis Hafner DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Kevin Youkilis 1B/3B
Juan Rivera/Matt Diaz LF
Eduardo Nunez/Jayson Nix 3B
Francisco Cervelli/Chris Stewart C
Brett Gardner CF
Not very Bronx Bomberesque. Luckily the strength of the team lies with the pitching led by C.C. Sabathia Hideki Kuroda and Ivan Nova. Andy Pettitte returns once again for the team. The bullpen is solid with Cody Eppley, Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain, Clay Rapada and David Robertson. David Phelps can be both short and long relief for the team as well as start when needed. We just hope Mariano can be just Mariano. That's all that anyone can ask for.

I'll tell you what. Given the injuries that they Yankees are facing this season, if they make the playoffs, manager Joe Girardi needs to be given his due and be awarded the elusive American League Manager of the Year. But I am getting ahead of myself. Who knows what other player(s) will join the walking wounded of the New York Yankees by opening day.

Sisco Kid

- Click here to access the season statistics for the 2012 New York Yankees from Baseball Reference.com