2010 New York Yankees Baseball Preview
The New York Yankees (103- 59), after almost a decade, finally ran the gamut, winning the AL East, the AL Pennant and the World Series. The outlook for this club to repeat is good. Although in a sport that has a six-month, 162-game season, it is extremely difficult to repeat even if you do outspend every club on the planet.
In the pitching department, the big man, C.C. Sabathia (19-8, 3.37 ERA, 197 SO) did not disappoint last season. The former Indian and Brewer used a range of speeds and variety of pitches to keep hitters off balance. Another new edition, former Blue Jay hurler and strikeout artist A.J. Burnett (13-9, 4.04 ERA, 195 SO), also put up fine numbers. Tall lefty starter Andy Pettitte (14- 8, 4.16 ERA, 148 SO) notched his typical 14-win season and Joba Chamberlain (9-6, 4.75 ERA, 133 SO) proved to be an adequate fifth starter. This year, the addition of 33 year-old veteran Javier Vazquez (15- 10, 2.87 ERA, 238 SO) should be big. Like Sabathia, he offers quality innings, durability and strikeouts.
Once again, the closing duties will be the purview of one of the best closers ever—Mariano Rivera (3- 3, 1.76 ERA, 44 SV, 72 SO). Setup man Phil Hughes (8-3, 3.03 ERA, 96 SO) likes to use his fastball and curve to strikeout batters. Veteran pitcher David Robertson (2- 1, 3.30 ERA, 63 SO) offers a deceptive delivery and a fastball that cuts on both lefties and righties. He’ll be useful in medium relief.
For a good dozen years or so, the Yanks have featured one of the best hitting lineups in MLB. This season, the infield certainly offers some topnotch hitters but the outfield has less pop than in the past. Leadoff man Derek Jeter (.334 BA, 18 HR, 88 RBI) may be a good short stop, bit more so he possesses an excellent bat. The lineup includes second baseman Robinson Cano (.320 BA, 25 HR, 85 RBI), first baseman Mark Teixeira (.292 BA, 39 HR, 122 RBI), and third baseman Alex Rodriguez (.286 BA, 30 HR, 100 RBI). Together they make for a daunting two through four-string of hitters.
Catcher Jorge Posada (.285 BA, 22 HR, 81 RBI) is weak behind the plate but still has a fine bat. And DH Nick Johnson (.291 BA, 8 HR, 62 RBI), free agent late of Florida, looks to be a solid addition. Nick Swisher in right is below average in the field and at bat. Center fielder Curtis Granderson plays a good field while in left Brett Gardner plays a decent outfield and shows some talent as a contact hitter.
Manager Joe Girardi, who since Billy Martin was at the helm is the first Yankee to win the World Series as both a manager and player, did a fine job last season resting and pacing his aging everyday players so they could remain productive and utilizing his bullpen to the fullest. This season, GM Brian Cashman has brought in just a few new faces but the addition of veteran pitcher Vazquez will either be seen as being brilliant or stupid, depending upon how the aging starter performs.
The Yankees are the favorites but don’t anoint them yet. They still have the same basic problem as they have in the past—aging players. Starting pitchers, everyday players and the bullpen all face the same dilemma, although some of the underachieving older guys are gone. Will they take first place in the AL East? They should, but it’s not a sure thing. The Red Sox will contend and the Rays will offer some decent competition.
For more info on the Yankees check out the MLB official page for New York baseball.