In a few days it will be February, which means Spring Training is right around the corner as pitchers and catchers report on the 19th.
So, while baseball fans are ready to end another long off-season, team’s front offices are scrambling to get everything in order.
Still, the fate of the 2012 Yankees hinders on getting the right answers to some lingering questions.
So, here are 3 substantial subjects to keep your eye on as things get started:
1. Can Alex Rodriguez stay healthy?
When A-rod is healthy, he is hitting and without question makes the Yankees tougher to beat. It is no secret that A-rod is 36 years old and entering his 19th MLB season, but he is a true competitor with a lot of talent. There is no lack of effort on his part either, as A-rod works harder than most athletes and this off-season was no different. A-rod piggy-backed the 2009 team straight to a World Series, and the Yankees could use 30 homers and 100 RBIs out of him. Solid production from A-rod would be a difference maker; but that entails staying off the DL.
2. Seven starters for a five-man rotation?
Prior to January 13th, the Yankees only dreamed of having to answer this question, but fact is no 25-man roster allows for this kind over-crowding. As of now, CC Sabathia and Kuroda are both locks; Pineda and Ivan Nova are expected to join them; while AJ Burnett, Freddy Garcia and Phil Hughes will duke it out in Spring Training for the only foreseen opening. And don’t forget about prize prospects Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances, who are long shots to make the Opening Day roster but are darn close to being ready. Even if Banuelos and Betances have stellar springs, Cashman and the Yankees now have no need to rush the Killer B’s out of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre just yet. This luxury has to be looked at carefully because egos are at stake, which means making the soundest decision here is essential.
3. Can the 2012 Yankees win a World Series?
This is a BIG yes, as the 2011 team won 97 games dealing with Hughes injuries, Burnett’s inconsistencies, an unhealthy A-Rod, and the Captain’s unstable road to 3000. Also, Bartolo Colon struggled post All-Star break and even though his eight wins, along with Garcia’s 12 victories were essential in 2011, the new additions should easily surpass that number.
Whether the lack of offense warrants being overlooked as the blame for Yankees early ALDS departure last season or should be somewhat of a concern is a scenario the jury is still out on. No doubt it was ironic that the pitching gave the bats ample opportunities to win, but for now I am chalking it up to the hitters choking more than anything.
- You: New York Yankees: Why They’re Overjoyed at Cole Hamels’ One-Year Deal (bleacherreport.com)
- New York Yankees: Remembering The Top 6 Headlines From 2011 (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- New York Yankees: 2012 Resolution That’s Easy (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- New York Yankees Hot Stove: Matsui Rumors Are Not Funny For My Dad (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- New York Yankees Hot Stove: Patience Got Pineda (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- New York Yankees Trade Rumors: Rangers Got Yu But Could Use Hughes Too (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- New York Yankees: Introducing Prospect Jose Campos (ladylovespinstripes.com)