Tuesday, March 1, 2011

2011 MLB Season Preview: AL East New York Yankees

Now I can't stand the Yankees, but I will be as fair as possible and write an unbiased preview. While the Yankees may have missed out on the Cliff Lee sweepstakes, and there are tons of questions surrounding their pitching rotation, they're still the Yankees. No matter how many times I pray at night and hope that one of these years they'll just fade off and I won't have to worry about them, I know it'll never happen. The Yankees continue to compete every year, the highest payroll in the League is a big advantage, and helps to keep them ultra competitive every year. The Yankees do manage to develop some home grown talent in Robinson Cano and Brett Gardner, and they have some young pitchers coming up that may have to be an impact later this season.

The most glaring problem is the pitching rotation. The top two in the rotation are solid with CC and Hughes anchoring the staff. If AJ Burnett manages to prove that last year was simply a fluke he will greatly boost the rotation and take at lot of Cashman's mind. The bottom two of the rotation still leave a lot to desire, but with the dynamic Yankees offense, those weaknesses can be covered pretty quickly, especially pitching against other teams 4 and 5 starters. Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia, and Ian Nova figure to compete for those last two remaining spots. They also have a few options in the minors that could get looks later in the season, or in a pinch earlier on.

Health will be a key to this teams success. They lack depth in just about all aspects of this team. If CC or Hughes goes down, the rotation could be a major liability and something they'd be unable to cover-up. They have the ability to cover up some short term injuries in the OF and INF in Ramiro Pena and Andruw Jones. There are plenty of "what if" scenarios, but the simple fact is the Yankees will still compete no matter what questions remain out there.

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