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2009 New York Yankees Baseball Preview

Last season, the New York Yankees (89- 73) did something that they have not done in 14 years. They missed the playoffs entirely, finishing eight games out of first place and behind the Wild Card Boston Red Sox. That's right, 89 wins put them six off the pace for the Wild Card and earned them the third spot in the AL East. Plagued by injuries, poor fielding and lackluster play, the Yanks went into high gear over the off-season and brought in some key players who could make a big difference.

The Yankees certainly improved their pitching staff when they signed prized lefty CC Sabathia (17- 10 W/L, 2.70 ERA, .237 BAA). Sabathia has a nicely controlled 92- 96 mph fastball and a fine cutter-slider. He's big and imposing. Righties Chien-Ming Wang (8- 2 W/L, 4.07 ERA, .249 BAA) and A.J. Burnett (18- 10 W/L, 4.07 ERA, .249 BAA) are a solid number two-three combo. Chien-Ming has a fine sinker that turns into grounders and outs and Burnett is a good K-pitcher, but both are injury prone. The bullpen is solid with the ageless Mariano Rivera (1.40 ERA, 39 SV, .165 BAA) still commanding respect. Middle relief is decent.

The Yanks will once again put some fine hitters at the plate. Johnny Damon (.303 BA, 17 HR, 71 RBI, 29 SB) is a solid lead off man. Derek Jeter (.300 BA, 11 HR, 69 RBI), Alex Rodriguez (.302 BA, 35 HR, 103 RBI) and Xavier Nady (.305 BA, 25 HR, 97 RBI) are all .300-hitters. Hideki Matsui, who has had injury problems, will DH. He's a disciplined hitter. The addition of Mark Teixeira gives the team another .300 hitter and 30 more homers per season.

The infield, especially the middle, is suspect. Rodriguez at third is certainly fine and Teixeira is a gold glover at first. Posada and Jeter are both aging and Cano can be a hazard at second. In right field, Nady shows a good arm, while Swisher in center and Damon in left are both fringe fielders.

Last season, Joe Girardi stepped in as manager when Yankee icon Joe Torre left the fold and headed for the West Coast. Girardi had a tough time handling the press and the tension but did better than expected. General manager Brian Cashman continues to hold onto his job despite the fact that he has not brought a World Series crown to the Island of Manhattan in eight years. George Steinbrenner's son, Hank, took over from dad. What can you say? The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

The Yankees have the personnel, talent and skill to win the AL East, the pennant and the World Series. Then again, they've supposedly had it all each of the last eight years. The big questions are will this team play as a team and can they stave off the injury bug? If they can finally do both of those things, they will go all the way. However, it is a long, unforgiving season.

Read more on the Yankees other AL East division opponents, Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

For more info on the Yankees check out the MLB official page for New York baseball.

 

2009 Baseball Preview

The 2009 Major League Baseball season is here and Maddux Sports once again has unveiled their annual preview of this years summer pastime. We go in-depth on all 30 baseball teams as well as our divisional predictions including order of finish. To find your favorite team click on the division links to the right. At anytime you can return to the 2009 baseball preview page.

09 MLB Division Previews


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