Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I hope the Yankees aren't boring this year...

While the Yankees didn't have a bad season last year, finishing 85-77, they were kind of a boring team. They had a few exciting moments, provided mostly by role players like Jayson Nix and Lyle Overbay, but for the most part watching them was somewhat dull.

This year's edition may be a little more exciting, if what's on paper translates onto the field. If Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner can stay healthy and each play at least 140 games, watching the Yanks might become fun again. Having Alfonso Soriano around for a full season should add pop to the lineup, and Carlos Beltran will add some offensive consistency (hopefully he won't look at many third strikes at the end of the game). Having Derek Jeter play a full season and hit like his old self - he has a career .312 batting average - will add some excitement. If Mark Teixeira's wrist is fully healed, having him in the lineup for 140 games will provide some punch and gives the team one of the best defensive first basemen in the majors. Teixeira usually makes one outstanding defensive play to save a hit every game.

Some people are comparing Brian McCann to Thurman Munson, but I don't think he's that good, although he is an upgrade offensively over what the Yankees had last year and can hold his own defensively.

I do think the starting pitching and bullpen will be better than what some are predicting, although it may not be enough to dominate teams like Boston and Tampa.  But if Tanaka makes the adjustment from Japan; if Pineda and Nova live up to their potential; and if Kuroda and Sabathia can each squeeze another above average season from their arms, the Yankees look to have a decent staff.  the bullpen, with Robertson, Kelley, Thornton, and pitchers that had pretty good years last year like Claiborne, Warren, Phelps, with someone like Nuno who has shown flashes, the bullpen ought to keep the team in most games.

Opening day is less than three weeks away, so we'll know soon if the 2014 Yankees are going to give us some excitement this spring, or if it's going to be a long, boring summer of baseball.

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