With Less than a week before the season opens if your a Yankee fan you have to like what you been seing and hearing. EVen the news regarding Arod has been encouraging. I have a feeling he will be back a littel sooner than origionally expected, and will slide right back into this line-ip that even without him has proven to be pretty scary. Here are a few notes to recap the Yanks Spring.
Gardner to start and Jeter to lead……off that is!
I have been saying all spring that Girardi loves Gardner’s speed and that he would win the starting CF job, and he did. Now while no one is ever confuse his bat with Ichiro he does have that type of speed, and in a Yankee line-up filled with veterans he brings an added dimension, and is a real weapon on the bases. This relegates Melky reserve OF and pinch hitting/running. There is also alot of rumors about Melky being dealt being that the Yankees already have 4 OF not including Matsui, and rookie Austin Jackson poised to make his MLB debut.
Jeter is gonna bat leadoff this season. For thosewho think this is a weird move please remember that the Captain has had @2500 AB’s in this spot during his career. I really love this move. With Gardner in the line-up this move breaks up Lefty/Lefty, but more importantly Damon has more power, and as a lefty batting 2nd it allows the Yanks to start runners, and stay out of the DP which Jeter’s style of hitting is very prone too.
All 5 Yankee starters have the ability to throw up an ‘ace’ type outing. Yes..ALL 5!! I know Andy is getting up there but as the #4 guy this season he will not have the pressure on him he did last season, and with CC, AJ, and a healthy Wang(whose importance has been truly undervalued this of season), Pettitte will not feel the need to go back out when he is at 100 pithces to save the bullpen.
The 2009 Yankee bullpen is one of the best they have had in years. They have 2 good hard throwing lefties in MArte, and Coke(who i love btw), and with Bruney, Veras, Ramirez,Albaladejo, and of course Mo they can match-up with anyone late in the Game. They also have MArk Melancon, Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, Alfredo Aceves all waiting in the wings incase of anything.
While i truly believ the Yankee moves have put them past the other 2 i must elaborate my feelings. The Dead-Sox and their Pink Hat wearing Fans will keep opening their “pie-hole” about how deep the Boston staff is. But my problem is this…Wakey is all but done. This guy is gonna get shelled more times than not this year. He will beat the Royals, and Mariners, but any of the top teams are too much for the 42 yr old Knuckler. Brad Penny is a BUST!! This guy is barley touching 92-93 mph…rmeber he use to throw close to 100mph. His shoulder will not hold up, and he will out of the roation by June. As for Smoltzy….he will pitch like he always does, but a powr pitcher at age 42 coming back from MAJOR shoulder surgey I just cant see him making it throught the year.
The SOx have line-up issues as well. WHile all the Pink Hats have been telling me how Posada is done(see him gun out Ellsbury?) and Arod wont come back..ha! Oh…and MO wont be the same….um…no need to comment, thy have big issues too. Will Papi be good or great? They cant afford a .265 25hr year form him. He needs to be his old self in order for them to compete. Can Drew stay on the field? (doubt it) The Sox are counting on Lowell and Papi returing to 07 form, and Ellsbury becoming a solid everday player(not too sure about that) They also expect the same if not better production form Youk which may be askin alot form a guy who had a career year.
The Rays actually have the best starting pitvhing of all 3 teams if they bring David Price back up, or at least make him the closer.
I can not see the Rays making it through the year with as much luck as they had last year, and with a lower payroll they will not be able to come back from things as easily. I am expecting a 3rd place finish for the 2008 AL Cham0ps!.
Im Just excited for the season, ansd think the Bombers have a realistic chance to win it all!! The pitching, and the addition of the gold glove and triple crown bat of Tex really have made this the team to beat!!