Yankees 2010 Preview

Can the Bronx Bombers Repeat? [2010 MLB Previews: New York Yankees]

3/1/10 in MLB   |   icfeet   |   22007 respect

This is my first article for Fan IQ...take it easy on my guys and gals!!

When the 2009 MLB season ended, the New York Yankees secured their 27th World Championship.  Will 2010 bring the Yankees their 28th?  Only the season will tell.  I know that there are a lot of you who hate the Yankees because you think they "buy" championships, but I don't believe that (see Yankees 1979-1995).  That is for another poll, though.  This article will deal with the Yankees prospects for returning to win their 28th World Series title.  I'll try to break them down, offensively and defensively.

Let's start with the starting pitching staff.  The Yankees starting rotation looks good...ON PAPER.  With C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett anchoring the 1 and 2 positions, they appear to be solid.  With Andy Pettite as the number 3 starter, the Yankees appear to have a very solid, consistent top of the rotation.  The number 4 and 5 starters, though, may cast some doubt.  The 4th spot appears to be Javier Vazquez, a pickup during the off season.  Vazquez had moderate success in his first stint with the Yankees, in 2004, going 14-10.  He appears to be a lock for the 4th spot.  The 5th spot, however, is a spot that appears to be up for grabs.  The front runners are Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes, who both started and relieved last year.  Personally, I think they BOTH should be in the bullpen this year.  Alfredo Aceves, Sergio Mitre and Chad Gaudin could fill the 5th starter's role.  Chamberlain and Hughes were too good coming out of the pen last year to make them start again. Grade: Above Average

The Yankees bullpen has been a source of strength for the past 15 years.  The games BEST closer (sorry, Trevor Hoffman) is Mariano Rivera.  He basically throws one pitch-a cut fastball-that has been nearly unhittable since 1996.  When Hughes and/or Chamberlain setting him up, the game gets turned into a Little League game-6 innings.  Damaso Marte is the left-handed specialist.  Other capable relievers are Jonathan Albaladejo, David Robertson and Edwar Ramirez. Grade: Excellent with Hughes and Chamberlain in the pen, Above Average with only one of them in the pen.

Moving on to the infield, the Yankees have one of the better ones in the Major Leagues.  Mark Teixiera at first base solved the Jason Giambi fielding problems of 2002-2008.  The reacquisition of Nick Johnson is questionable because he tends to get hurt a lot, but he may be able to spell Tex and provide some decent defense.  Robinson Cano continues to improve at 2nd base, both defensively and at the plate.  During last season, there were some rumblings about Derek Jeter losing it at shortstop...I think not.  He finished 3rd in MVP voting and while he may not have the range he did when he was 21, at 35 (36 in June) he still gets to balls that one would think he shouldn't get to.  Alex Rodriguez at 3rd base is adequate defensively, and offensively...well. he’s A-Rod. Grade: Above Average

The catching position is probably one of the Yankees' weaker links.  Jorge Posada is a gritty competitor who has a good bat.  Posada has been a Yankee for a long time, but his age and the position don't often work well together.  Posada has had shoulder problems over the past few years, and while not as bad as Jason Varitek of the Red Sox, runners have stolen a lot off of Posada.  His backup, Francisco Cervelli, is an excellent defensive catcher, but his bat is suspect.  The rap on him has been that he can't hit.  He DID hit pretty well in several stints last year when Posada was hurt.  An upgrade here would help.  Grade: Average

The outfield will be bolstered by the addition of Curtis Granderson from Detroit.  He is slotted to play centerfield, replacing Melky Cabrera. The knock on Granderson is that he can't hit left handers that well-he'd better learn because of the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium.  Left field will be manned by Brett Gardner and Randy Winn.  The loss of Johnny Damon will certainly not hurt in the field (NO arm), but will hurt at the plate.  Nick Swisher, who looks to be in right field, carried the team early last year, and his goofiness in the clubhouse "lightened up" the team.  New addition Greg Golson can play all outfield positions. Grade:  Average to slightly above average.

As for the offense…what is not to like?  Derek Jeter will lead off, as he did in 2009.  In 2009, Damon filled the two hole.  Taking Damon’s place in 2010 will be either Curtis Granderson or, possibly, Nick Johnson.  Teixiera will bat third, A-Rod fourth and either Posada or Johnson 5th.  Joe Girardi may take the sixth through ninth positions and rotate Cano, Gardner, Swisher, Johnson or Posada.  Eight of nine regulars in the lineup in 2009 hit 20 or more home runs, so the power is there.  Grade: Above Average to Excellent.

The final piece of this “puzzle” is the manager, Joe Girardi.  I loved Joe as a player, but as a manager, I think some of his decisions are questionable.  With the lineup he has, he should have no trouble.  Girardi sometimes thinks too much for his own good.  At times, he doesn’t have the feel for the game.  There were several times last year that he would have a relief pitcher retire the first two batters with ease, then yank him because of a “more favorable” matchup.  When it backfired, and the Yankees lost, Joe just said “That’s baseball”. I think that Girardi needs to learn a little better “feel” for the game.  Grade: Average

All in all, I think the Yankees have an excellent chance of repeating.  Losing Damon’s bat and leadership may hurt, but overall the Yankees should be OK.  LET’S PLAY BALL!!!



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3/12/10   |   Chamberlainny   |   4 respect

Yes, with custis granderson and everyone else that theyll get in the off season im sure they'll reapet! 28!

3/2/10   |   Boski93   |   375 respect

Well done sir, way to start off the previews.

3/1/10   |   tpowell25   |   1627 respect

Good write-up, Kurt.

The Yanks are, of course, scary looking on paper.  And should be on the field as well.  When Jorge Posada is considered to be your wink link (regardless of age, quite a few teams would love to have him), it speaks volumes for the team.  Of course I'll root against them, but the WS title is theirs to lose.

3/1/10   |   Joe_L   |   12372 respect

xfoleyo wrote:
No fair they have more money :(

Try to keep your composure!

3/1/10   |   xfoleyo   |   7 respect

No fair they have more money :(

3/1/10   |   Joe_L   |   12372 respect

janet011685 wrote:
Read my mind. 

That could be scary. LOL

3/1/10   |   pitchdaball   |   24 respect

 got a problem wit that?

3/1/10   |   janet011685   |   25875 respect

So says the Red Sox fan- LOL!

Read my mind. 

3/1/10   |   yanksawboy   |   8 respect

 With no injuries this should be a playoff team and a title contender.

3/1/10   |   pitchdaball   |   24 respect

 Yankees dont have what it takes 

3/1/10   |   janet011685   |   25875 respect

Good job, Kurt. 
As much as I love Johnny Damon, Curtis Granderson, I think, will more than make up for the loss both defensively AND offensively. 

3/1/10   |   gobigblue1960   |   4805 respect

Curtis Granderson is going to be an All-Star CF for the Yankees. The Tigers should have kept him, and will miss his presence on, and off the field.

3/1/10   |   Lizzo   |   324 respect

Pretty good read, first article or not! Very concise, yet thorough. As a Cardinal fan I hope you are way off base, but I am pretty sure you aren't. Looking forward to a great season. Play Ball!!!!

3/1/10   |   danamichelle_27   |   15 respect

the yankees will be more than ready this season, i love the starting pitching, and bullpen depth, and our lineup is younger and faster than last year, and the offense is gonna be there, so as for repeating the yankees have as great as a chance as any team to win #28, we'll see if it's in the cards, they look like favorites to do so, though*

3/1/10   |   keppieboy   |   158 respect

Good read.

3/1/10   |   mk_donley   |   2554 respect

Yankees repeating? Why am I not surprised?