Monday, February 16, 2015

MLB 2015 preview, part 2: Yankees breakdown

The big question surrounding the Yankees this season has to do with the prodigal vagabond, Alex Rodriguez. The Yankees don't want him starting at 3rd, but rather splitting time at DH, or even backing up Mark Tiexiera at 1st. Of course, there are still a lot of fans who'd rather see the Bombers cut bait and send A-Roid off to the abyss or somewhere else, just to get rid of him. As a tabloid magnet, he can be a tiresome read.

Yankees infield:

We knew that replacing Derek Jeter at shortstop was going to be a hardscrabble, but the Yankees traded for Didi Gregorius (Arizona) to fill the hole, and re-signed Stephen Drew, who was put at 2nd last season. For the 2nd straight off-season, no one was willing to play Scott Boras' usual shell game with Drew, so you figure Boras had to cave in to what GM Brian Cashman and the Steinbrenner brothers were willing to offer for 1 year. Unfortunately, they also parted with a former teammate of Gregorius in Martin Prado (Miami), a move which could come back to haunt them. Drew is just a stop-gap at 2nd, since all they have otherwise are a couple of unproven kids, including Rob Refsnyder. Ideally, had they stuck with Prado, he'd be at 2nd, with Chase Headley at 3rd, and Drew getting first call to back both up.


You have Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, & Carlos Beltran patrolling the outfield. That made Ichiro expendable (Miami again), but having Chris Young, who came over from the Mets in mid-season, isn't too bad for a 4th wheel.


Brian McCann, backed by J. R. Murphy & Austin Romine? Meh. The Yankees did it again, giving a catcher away to Pittsburgh (Francisco Cervelli) that could've helped them. The scouting department needs help.


Masahiro Tanaka no longer has his countryman, Hiroki Kuroda, to help him get acquainted with the majors, as Kuroda went home to Japan. A rotation of Tanaka, CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda, and either Adam Warren or Chris Capuano or Esmil Rogers doesn't really scare folks. Given the injuries to the first four, an ambulance may be needed on standby, just in case. The bullpen was retooled after the Yanks foolishly let David Robertson walk (White Sox), and they went out and got David Carpenter & a unproven arm in Chasen Shreve (Atlanta), plus Nathan Eovaldi (Miami), who could factor in as a starter after all. He got lit up like a Christmas tree last I'd seen him pitch against the Mets. Either Dellin Betances or Andrew Miller will be the closer, but we're looking at closer-by-committee for the start of the season. Not good.

Prediction: 4th.

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