Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part I
posted at 1/25/2014 9:31 AM EST
Still, a lot of "ifs" for the Yanks, and they should not be minimized:
C: While I agree that McCann gives the yankees and edge over the Sox here, there are still questions. He's on the big stage now, and the last 2 years numbers favor AJP: .275 44 147 to .246 40 124 and the OPS of .773 to .742. I also like Ross over Cervelli and Lava/Butler/Vazquez could chip in nicely as well.
1B: Teixeira started his decline the minute he signed with the Yanks and to me, is a bigger question mark than Napoli-hip and all: Teix's with LAA (1.081), then with NYY- .948> .846> .835> .807> .609. Sure, Teix could have a nice year, but he turns 34 soon, and is likely not going to be much over .800 this year.
2B: Roberts & Ryan are way bigger question marks than Pedey.
3B: Huge question mark for the Yanks. Signing Drew and moving Jete to 3B may improve the outlook, but Jete would be a big question mark. K Johnson is decent, but still a question mark.
The Yankee OF is solid both offensibely, defensively and in depth. While age may play a role, they are so deep, I don't see any big questions here.
DH: Soriano or Beltran should give the Yanks the second best DH numbers in MLB. That's big upgrade over 2013, but still behind the Sox projections for Big Papi with Gomes, Carp, Nava, and maybe Lava in reserve.
Sabathia looks like a new man. The loss of that much weight raises red flags as well as optimism. I'm guessing he will feel a lot different on the mound, and I'm not sure how he lost the weight, but sometimes a radical change in a workout routine can lead to injury, if not done gradually and correctly.
Kuroda is a fine pitcher. I like him a lot. I know you love this guy, but you have to admit, him dropping off late last year and turning 39 in a couple weeks raises a lot of questions.
Tanaka should help the Yanks right away. I really like this 25 year old, but certainly there are questions about a guy who has never pitched an inning in America. Can he adjust? Having some older countrymates on his team should help, but what about the radical change in the pitching routines?
Nova just turned 27 and is entering his prime. He had a nice season last year, but still had a WHIP near 1.3. He has improved on his BB/9 every year, so I think he is going to have a good year, but he did have an ERA over 5 in 2012 as well as a 1.47 WHIP.
Phelps is a huge question mark, but may be replaced with another big signing. 4.98 ERA last year and a 1.42 WHIP.
Robertson as a closer. Should do well, but it's a different gig.
The rest of the pen is much more questionable than ours.
All-in-all, the Yanks look like a force on paper, but they have many many questions. They have also have lots of upside potential, but so do we.
Pedey had an off year last year batting in a key line-up slot. Imagine if he has an MVP type season- not unreasonable for a guy in mid prime.
Napoli has a career trend of having huge seasons every 3 years. 2014 is year 3.
Gomes was way off from his recent numbers vs LHPs: a return to form would be a huge boost. Gomes was one of MLB best hitters vs lefties over the previous 3-4 seasons.
Middy could return to his 2012 form.
Bogey could be the ROY and put up eye-popping numbers.
AJP could improve our staff and catcher defense significantly. Good health by Ross could make a big difference as well.
Better health by Shane.
30+ starts by Buch.
20 more starts by Peavy (taking away from Dempster/Webster)
Mujica instead of Hanrahan and Bailey
Miller all year
Workman & Britton more experienced
A bunch of kids knocking on the door loudly.