2013 Season Preview - A Fans Perspective

    Saturday, March 30, 2013, 11:46 PM [General]

    As we get ready for a new season of exciting Yankees baseball, let's take this time to look ahead at what we may see during this most interesting 2013 season of New York Yankees baseball.

     

    Well, Spring Training has finally come to an end, it seemed to last for ever this year didn't it? Of course we did have the exciting baseball that was the World Baseball Classic, but nothing beats the grind of the 162 game schedule where we choose to live and die with every game, pitch, at bat. You name it, we're hanging on to it til the end.

    This season for the Yankees will indeed be very interesting, to say the least and a lot of "experts" have the New York Yankees finishing...gulp...in last place in the American League East. The very division they WON a year ago with a league high 95 victories! Ok, so the Yankees are older and injuries have hit early this season, but that could very well be a blessing in disguise. It could be slow going in the early part of the season but if the Yankees can play decent, .500 baseball and get through the first month of the season, than anything is possible.

    Once the month of May comes around, look for the Yankees offense to get healthy with the additions of Mark Teixiera and Curtis Granderson. Aahh, see? When those two get back in the middle of the lineup, things start to look a little different and different in a good way. The powerless lineup we've heard so much about all of a sudden has some punch in it. The additions of Granderson and Teixiera will than in turn improve the bench that the Yankees will feature with the likes of Brennan Boesch, Eduardo Nunez, Jayson Nix, Vernon Wells and whom ever the second catcher may be. Will they get anything at all from Travis Hafner? It would seem they'd be better served with Boesch as the lefty DH option, but we shall see. With the ability to have those bats coming off the bench, assuming they all do stick, will add another dimension to this team that is being overlooked. The addition of Boesch could turn out to be a very interesting move in that Boesch is still young enough to turn it around and he has the chance to stick with the Yankees if he's able to hit enough. Vernon Wells is here for the season and I think he'll provide some right handed power, along with Kevin Youkilis who quietly had himself a very good spring this year. Youkilis will be very important to this team this year, playing third base and hitting either sixth or seventh in the order. He'll need to stay healthy because no one knows what to expect from Alex Rodriguez and at this point, we really can't expect to see him play this year no matter what we're told by the media.

    The sticking point for this Yankees team will be the pitching, from starting rotation to Mariano Rivera in the back of the bullpen. The rotation is loaded with veteran arms with the knowledge of how to pitch. The big man, CC Sabathia sets the tone for this team and he looks ready to go. Kuroda is trustworthy and he'll give you a good effort 4 out of 5 times on the mound. Everyone's favorite lefty, Andy Pettitte returns for another season in pinstripes and much like Derek Jeter, you just can never doubt the veteran lefty and his conviction to compete and to win. After those three veterans, it gets a little interesting. Will Phil Hughes be able to get back and stay healthy and put together a solid season in his free agent season? Will the push from David Phelps lift Ivan Nova to the next level? He has the stuff to get it done in this league, in this division and he has done it before and done it well. Beware of the rotation dark horse for this season too, remember the name Michael Pineda? Well, at some point young Mr. Pineda should be healthy enough to contribute something to the big league club. No doubt they will handle him with kid gloves early on but look for him to finally make an impact on the team come the second half of the season. The constant for Yankees in recent years has been the bullpen and this season is no different. Ok, they lost Rafael Soriano, but we knew they were not going to pay him more closer money after the season he had in Rivera's place. David Robertson and Joba Chamberlain are the bridge to Mo this season, along with lefties Clay Rapada and Boone Logan. The pen is essentially the same, save for Rivera taking Soriano's place and there isn't a person in the world that wouldn't take that swap.

    Will all the question marks surrounding the Yankees 2013 season consume them and cause them to crumble under the age and injury that so many have predicted for years? It is possible, but still unlikely. This is a veteran team that still knows what it takes to get it done and win. So what if they have to hit fewer homers? Fans have screamed for years for more small ball and this could be the year that situational hitting becomes paramount for this teams success. The Yankees are arguably the most experienced team in the best, yet still improved divison in all of baseball and that experience could be what puts them over the top when it counts the most. Undoubtably this will be an interesting seson for the Yankees but through the up's and down's of it all, it promises to be a fun 2013 season.

     

    3.2 (1 Ratings)

    Never Too Early To Look Ahead...

    Saturday, September 29, 2012, 1:26 AM [General]

    Indeed, in the world of sports, a lot of what is going on revolves around "What have you done for me lately?"

    While the New York Yankees are completely engulfed in a fiery race to the finish of the 2012 Regular Season and look to qualify for the post season, with a 1 game lead and 5 games to go as of this moment, I find myself thinking a little bit ahead, to the off season. With all this talk of the New York Yankees discussing lowering payroll, I am thinking about the future of what this team will look like next season and years beyond that.

    Let's take a closer look shall we?

    At the conclusion of this season, the likes of Russell Martin, Nick Swisher are to become free agents, along with Hiroki Kuroda, Mariano Rivera and Ichiro, with Rafael Soriano having a player option, Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson with club options that are likely to be picked up.

    I could see Soriano going out for the money, trying to secure his one last big pay day. And who can blame him? He almost single handedly saved the Yankees 2012 season by stepping in for the injured, GOAT, Mariano Rivera. He is undoubtably going to want to test his market value and you just know his agent, Scott Boras sees nothing but dollar signs when it comes to Soriano. It'll be interesting to see just how much the Yankees value Soriano, and a lot could depend on the next 3 weeks or so and how well he fares in the post season. You can never have enough pitchers and the Yankees are taking that to heart, they have one of the best bullpens in the game and they keep finding arms. David Aardsma has returned from TJ surgery and will most likely be a piece in the 2013 bullpen. Along with him, David Robertson and Joba Chamberlain, the Yankees have the makings of a strong bridge to the 9th.

    With long term, expensive deals looming for Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson, I could see the Yankees allowing Swisher to walk, unless he REALLY loves it here enough to be reasonable in price and sort of, helps the Yankees out a bit, but no one could ever predict that happening. Robinson Cano is simply the best second baseman in the league, hands down, best defensively and offensively. The Yankees know this, and quite frankly, so does Cano. He will get paid and he will get paid by the New York Yankees, they won't let him go.

    Curtis Granderson has had one of the most, unique (if that's the correct word) seasons ever. He has really given quite the meaning to "All or Nothing Hitter". He's closing in on 200 strikeouts for the 2012 season, but he leads the Yankees in homeruns with 40 and RBI's with 97 all while hitting around .230! How many .230 hitters, not named Adam Dunn, get the opportunity to put up those power numbers? Well, Curtis does and he happens to play one of the premier positions in baseball, not to mention a premier piece of real estate in Yankee Stadium as the centerfielder. The Yankees gave up a lot to bring Curtis to the Bronx and I venture to think they will do what is necessary to keep him in the fold going forward.

    In Cano and Granderson, those are two of the younger players the Yankees have at this present time, and they have been talking about getting younger, so up the middle is a great place to start.

    Staying up the middle, behind the plate to be exact, Russell Martin is loved by everyone in Yankeeland. The pitchers love him, his defense and his ability to call the game. The Yankees view his offense as a bonus and this year the bonus has been his 20 homeruns, even while he's struggled to stay above the Mendoza Line in the average department. Gut feeling says Russell's Muscles will indeed be back behind the dish next season for the Yankees, if for no other reason than because their catchers of the future just haven't been able to move along as they anticipated. And Russell will only turn 30 at the beginning of spring training next year.

    Two guys, that if they want to keep playing, will be playing for the Yankees next season. One, the previously mentioned GOAT, Mariano Rivera, is unsigned after this season but there has been absolutely no mention of his free agency, mainly because he hasn't pitched this season and simply because everyone knows if he wants to, he'll pitch for the Yankees next season. The other guy, surprised everyone by announcing his comeback midway through Spring Training, that guy, of course is Andrew Eugene Pettitte. Recently there have been rumblings that Andy hasn't ruled out pitching next season, mostly because he missed the majority of his starts this season due to the broken ankle and really, who would complain about his return for another season? So once again, if Mo and Andy want to return, they'll do so with the Yankees next season, no doubts there.

    Hiroki Kuroda, at times this season has been the Yankees best pitcher. He has been the most dependable, for the last 4 months after a shaky beginning. He hasn't had his best stuff lately, revealing that he's felt fatigued but he's still gutting it out and just getting the job done and he is a 15 game winner. This could be a one and done year for Kuroda in the Bronx, but if the Yankees are in need of a starter, possibly towards the end of the off-season, they could do a lot worse then bringing back Kuroda.

    Ichiro has most definitely gotten the spark back since being acquired by the Yankees but to see them resigning him for anything more than a platoon role just isn't something that is going to happen. If he's willing to accept it, a part time role, than maybe he would have a spot but then it comes down to who is more valuable and who would you prefer back? Ichiro or Raul Ibanez, whose been nothing short of outstanding for the Yankees all season long, playing more of the field than anyone could of anticipated and he's held up just fine, providing some power, with 18 homeruns.

    These are just a few of the questions that face the New York Yankees as the off-season gets closer, but of course, right now the focus is on the race to the finish and, as the Yankees expect, a run to the franchise's 28th World Championship.

    0 (0 Ratings)