Upon the 2011 Yankees, Better or Worse

The Boston Red Sox are loaded with the additions of AGone and Crawford. The Phillies are loaded with Cliff Lee, who spurned the Yankees (essentially). So where are the Yankees for 2011, as of January? Lets look at lineup and rotation first:

Is a starting rotation, right now, of CC, AJ, Hughes and __________ enough to keep up with the other clubs?- Short answer, no. However, the January rotation as currently constructed will not be the rotation which emerges from Spring Training, and certainly not the rotation which the Yankees use for the season. But lets look deeper, because there are many unanswered questions. Is AJ Burnett going to be as bad as he was last season? Is Hughes going to continue to improve in his second full season as a starter? Will Andy Pettitte come back at all? Will CC continue to be a stud? Who will be the 5th starter? (and if no Andy, who will be the 4th?) What effect will the departure of Dave Eiland and the arrival of new pitching coach Larry Rothschild have on the starters.?

Will the lineup be as strong as in year’s past?: Short answer, yes, maybe even more so. Age is a factor to be sure. Several older players are surely not getting any younger. Jorge Posada has been removed as the starting catcher, and will be replaced by Russell Martin as Posada transitions to full-time DH. This does clog the DH spot for resting other hitters, but Posada can always step behind the plate when someone needs a day off from fielding. Plus he will likely backup catch along with Montero. Jeter had a down season last year, but if my suspicions are correct, this will be a Jeter year where he has something to prove. Kevin Long is a great hitting coach and Jeter is a hard worker. I am sure the hole in his inside-out swing will be gone by March/April. Nick Swisher will have a tall task in replicating his 2010, but on the other hand Curtis Granderson will look to continue a hot second half. Brett Gardner will need to play as well as he did in 2010, but A-Rod should be a year healthier. Russell Martin will need to revert to his Dodger All-Star ways, but Robinson Cano is one of the best hitters in baseball. Mark Teixeira had rough patches but also went without his protection in Alex for stretches. Nick Johnson is gone, but so is Larry Walker.  

My ideal lineup would be Jeter, Granderson, Cano, Rodriguez, Teixeira, Posada, Swisher, Martin, Gardner. How does this lineup stack-up against

Jeter, Damon, Tex, Arod, Matsui, Cano, Posada, Swisher, Gardner?

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5 Responses to “Upon the 2011 Yankees, Better or Worse”

  1. Author Says:

    http://bombersbeat.mlblogs.com/archives/2011/01/yankees_wont_have_set_lineup.html

  2. Sherm Says:

    I really don’t see how you can expect the lineup to be as good as the last couple of years. Still a good lineup, of course, but I wouldn’t expect them to score as many runs as in 09 or 10. Jeter did nothing after May last year, and he’ll only be another year older. He might bounce back a little (as many of the great ones do), but he might not and he just might begin to get injury prone. ARod is fading fast and will only be another year older, and he’s starting to get injury prone. Gardner hit .233 after the all-star break. That could be on account of his hand injury, but its just as likely that the league learned how to pitch and defend him. Russell Martin sucks. What did he hit last year in the “weak” NL? Take away the last couple of weeks of the season, and you’d be saying that Granderson was a disappointment. And he still cant hit lefties. Swish had a career year last year. Very doubtful that he’ll repeat those numbers. Tex and Cano will do what they do. Its easy to imagine less production this year from several spots in the lineup (Jeter, ARod, Martin v. Posada of last year, Gardner, Swisher), and I really don’t see anyone who you can expect to step up to compensate for these losses.

    As for the pitching, Burnett is losing velocity and he’s a mental midget. I’d expect nothing better than a 4.50 ERA. He’s no better than a 4 right now. CC is still a stud, but the innings are starting to catch up to him. He was hittable last year. Hughes still needs to prove that he can maintain excellence over the course of an entire year, and is no better than a 3 right now. Nova is a fifth starter, at best. And Sergio Meatball is nothing more than organizational depth. If Pettitte retires, you are in deep shit with that staff. They will make moves, but for whom? The best pitcher out there is Carl Pavano. Jeff Francis and Jeremy Bonderman are not going to make you better than the Sox. U think you can compete with Beckett, Lackey, Bucholz Lester, Matsusaka and Wakefield with Sabathia, Burnett, Hughes, Nova, Meatball and any scrub you sign like Bonderman? Becket, Lackey, Lester and Bucholz would all be your number 2, and if you made a rotation from the two teams it would be CC plus those 4 from the Sox.

  3. Sherm Says:

    And Jeter should never bat lead off again, unless he’s playing in an old-timers game.

  4. keithosaunders Says:

    I don’t see why theey went to the trouble of MArtin since they had already gotten Montero. Martin reverting back to the form he showed in his first few seasons is key. They definately need one more solid arm. That said Tampa will not be as good and the YAnkees should be in solid shape at least for a wild card spot. (as much as you can predict these things in January!)

  5. keithosaunders Says:

    Hey, how about a mid-season Geier post?! You’ve been idle for far too long.

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