This season the Yankees look a little different then in years past. Obviously Derek Jeter is gone and a new era has begun. The Yankees still have plenty of familiar faces on the team. The Yankees also have many new faces. This year the Yankees need some of their veteran players to bounce back. The Yankees need Carlos Beltran , Alex Rodriguez , Mark Teixeira , and CC Sabathia to bounce back.
Prediction - Yankees , 88-74 , first in the AL East
The AL East is wide open this year and if the Yankees can remain healthy I believe they have the best pitching staff in the league. Michael Pineda showed what he can do when healthy and I think he will lead the Yankees in wins , era and whip. I also expect the veteran hitters to bounce back somewhat and some of the new additions will contribute.
Key Players - Mashahiro Tanaka is a true ace and one of baseballs best. The Yankees need him to hold up through out the season. If he goes down or can't pitch because of the elbow the season may be a wash. Michael Pineda can easily be a Cy Young Award Candidate if he remains healthy. I think this year he is headed in the right direction. Nathan Eovaldi has one of the best fastballs in the bigs and had a solid year last year. He hit a ruff patch towards the end. This can be his year. Carlos Beltran was a force in the Cardinals lineup two years ago and must prove he still can hit in the middle of a lineup. Brian McCann is the Yankees backstop and we may see him step up as one of the team leaders. He has to be better than last year. Finally Alex Rodriguez had a really good spring and the Yankees expect him to be the primary DH. He may get some time at third and first base also.
Projected Stats - 265 , 21 HR , 76 RBI
Yankee Stats - 291, 309 HR , 1404 H , 910 R , 145 SB , 979 RBI
Who is the Yankees Star - Jacoby Ellsbury is one of baseballs best outfielders. Ellsbury had some ups and downs In his first year with the team. He should be even better in year two as he will be more comfortable and the lineup should be better.
Projected Stats - 286 , 18 HR , 78 RBI , 102 R , 35 SB
1. M. Tanaka
2. M. Pineda
3. C. Sabathia
4. N. Eovaldi
5. A. Warren
* I. Nova - DL (May-June return)
1. B. Gardner LF
2. J. Ellsbury CF
3. C. Beltran RF
4. B. McCann C
5. A. Rodriguez DH
6. M. Teixeira 1B
7. C. Headley 3B
8. D. Gregorius SS
9. S. Drew 2B
The Yankees need big play from a lot of veterans. They need a lot of good to happen to be successful but I think this is a stronger club then people see. Nathan Eovaldi is ready to break out. The Yankees will see some veterans bounce back and play much better. This is a team that can be good or bad but I think they will end up being good.
By Peter Vitella