American League East Previews – Yankees

Today’s focus: New York Yankees

After finishing in second place last season and not adding another world championship to their collection, the popular thought was that the Yankees would reload over the off season. All signs pointed toward yes during their pursuit of Cliff Lee, but as it turns out, money really ISN’T everything to some people.

The challenge the Yankees will face this year will be their rotation. While C.C. Sabathia is a solid ace, once you get past him there are a lot of question marks. Phil Hughes looks like a solid starter, maybe not a number 2 which is most likely where he will fall in the rotation this year, but solid. AJ Burnett is looking to bounce back from a down year which seemed more related to his mental approach than his stuff. Joba Chamberlain we’re being told won’t be a starter and Andy Pettitte has decided to retire. The recent signing of Freddy Garcia at least moves either Ivan Nova or Sergio Mitre out of the rotation, thankfully for all those Yankee fans. If the Yanks find another capable starter, Burnett gets his groove back and Hughes continues to develop, they would have a very good staff, if all those things don’t happen it will be below average.

Notable Losses Include: Javier Vazquez, Lance Berkman, Marcus Thames, Andy Pettitte

Notable Pick Ups: Freddy Garcia, Rafael Soriano, Andruw Jones, Russell Martin

While overall I still see a 90+ win team here, the concern is not that the Yankees have declined, but how much the Red Sox have improved. On paper I would see the Yanks finishing in second once again, but this year it will be behind the Sox. Of course, that’s just on paper and there’s a reason they still play the games.

4 responses to “American League East Previews – Yankees

  1. Steve 8 February 2011 at 08:23

    Pedro Feliciano was another good pickup for the Yanks who led the majors in relief appearances in each of the past three seasons. He has a decent ERA, but his WHIP is a little questionable. We’ll have to wait and see how his decent NL ERA translates into the AL East…my guess is that it won’t be that great. Between Feliciano, Chamberlain and Soriano, they should be good enough to bridge the game and get the ball into Mariano Rivera’s hand. Although if NY’s starters are shaky, Rivera might not be getting all that much work this year! I agree with a second place finish for the Yanks.

    • Chris I 9 February 2011 at 09:41

      The forgotten reliever in all of this is David Robertson. He’s a K (and unfortunately walk) machine who is gives them the ability to use a very good arm in high leverage situations earlier in games, which could alleviate the back end starter problems. On paper, even with the Sox bullpen pick-ups of Jenks and Wheeler, the Yankees have to be given the edge there. Bard is very good to great, but Paps seems to be on the decline. They did just pick up Alfredo Aceves, a former Yank. He missed most of 2010, but he was great in that Ramiro Mendoza role in 2009. Hands down, Boston has a better starting rotation, and they narrowed the offensive gap with Gonzalez and Crawford, but the Yankees still get the edge there; the big question is if Youk Pedroia and Ellsbury can stay healthy. But 90-92 wins and a wild card finish sounds about right for the Bombers. And yes, full disclosure: I am a dyed in blue Yankee fan. And you forgot to mention Fatso Colon as a notable pick up!

  2. Steve 9 February 2011 at 13:17

    Since Chris mentioned Colon, I feel obligated to mention another pitcher of yesteryear added to the Yankee organization…Mark Prior!

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