In a little less than three weeks, the Yankees will begin their home-opener against the Boston Red Sox with CC Sabathia on the mound. However, this year’s Opening Day lineup might be a little different than what we’re used to due to all of the injuries the Yankees were plagued with during the 2013 season. The Yankees are missing Curtis Granderson (broken forearm), Mark Teixeira (strained forearm) and Alex Rodriguez (hip surgery) in their offense which is sure to look like the ‘Robinson Cano Show’ for the first month and a half. But with still some time to go, just how are the Yankees shaping up as they prepare for the season?
The Yankees lineup has many question marks after losing so many players to free agency and injuries. The bats of Nick Swisher, Russell Martin, Raul Ibanez and Eric Chavez will be with different ball clubs, while we will most likely have to wait for Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson to return to their post in early to mid-May. However, the lineup hasn’t looked as puzzling as it did when Spring Training started. The Yankees proved that they can manufacture runs by using a key element that they possess: speed. Players like Brett Gardner, Ichiro Suzuki and Eduardo Nunez are capable of getting on base, going station to station on their own before a key teammate has to drive them in with an RBI. Speed will play an important part this season since the Yankees have lost over 100 home runs than in season’s past. But just because the Yankees are relying on speed, it doesn’t mean we should start calling them the ‘Bronx Bunters’. They will still find a way to hit home runs with Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira making their way back into the starting lineup.
Throughout the course of Spring Training, the starting pitching has been one early glimpse of how our starters will perform during the 2013 season. It looks as if they left off from last season. Hiroki Kuroda looks to be in mid-season form, David Phelps has a 0.63 ERA 14 Spring appearances Ivan Nova has an ERA of 1. Andy Pettitte has still proven that his pitches are effective although he’s the oldest starting pitcher in Major League Baseball. And as expected, there is no concern over CC Sabathia, whatsoever. The starting pitching looks to be one of the Yankees strong points like it was in season’s past. Let’s hope that the pitching can carry the Yanks this season.
The Yankees bullpen was another one of their key pieces that helped define the Yankees last season. With pitchers such as David Robertson, Boone Logan, Clay Rapada and Joba Chamberlain, it seemed like an easy task to get the ball to the 9th inning before handing it off to the greatest closer of all time, Mariano Rivera. Last season’s bullpen dynamic was different since there was no Mariano in the bullpen due to an ACL injury, giving the Yankees a glimpse of what it would look like if Mariano Rivera wasn’t there. With Rafael Soriano, the Yankees were able to still close games with a dominant force but this year there is no Rafael Soriano. Mariano Rivera plans to retire after the 2013 season, which gives Yankees fans one last look of the greatest closer before he hangs up his cleats and says goodbye to the game. The bullpen is expected to be a strong part of the Yankees once again, and from Spring observations, I wouldn’t be surprised if Shawn Kelley and David Phelps get spots in the bullpen. With both of their arms this spring, the Yankees bullpen could become an iron gate to prevent runs from scoring.
There’s only 17 days until Opening Day so from now until Spring Training is over, it would be a good time to start watching the games to see who has a legitimate shot of making the team. And from what I’ve seen all Spring so far, there are quite a few who have a chance to go north.
The main event for the Yankees today was the bullpen pitching, provided by none other than Andy Pettitte, CC Sabathia and Mariano Rivera. Rivera threw his second official bullpen of the Spring, and feeling more and more comfortable on the mound.
“There’s no piece of mind when I say ‘OK, I feel good now.” Rivera said. “No, I knew the job that I put in during the whole year, it’s been a hard job and I always tell you guys I trust myself. I trust God first, then I trust myself. I’m capable to do this. I was expecting this, it feels good. I feel good.”
So what would be the biggest test for Rivera as he gets ready for the season while wearing a knee brace?
“Bunting. Comeback liners. Cover first. All that stuff. You can’t think, you have to react.” Rivera said. “That will be, what I think, the biggest test.”
CC Sabathia is also coming back from surgery, and hopes to make all his starts while staying healthy.
“After the season I had last year, being on the DL a couple of times, getting a little older, I just want to concentrate on staying healthy.” Sabathia said. “Any kind of numbers I feel will be there if I’m healthy, so that’s the only thing I’m worried about.”
– Francisco Cervelli has confirmed that he will not play in the World Baseball Classic for Team Italy and made sure that he let the manager know.
“I talked to the manager a couple of days ago, and he understood the situation.”
So what was the situation? Apparently, Cervelli wants to win the catching job with the Yankees in Spring Training.
“This is what I’ve been waiting for.”
– In…interesting…news, Joba Chamberlain has been reportedly been acting a little–out there at camp today. According to Bryan Hoch, he got into a laundry cart and asked Boone Logan to push him in it. That just shows that 1) Chamberlain has an awesome child-like imagination and 2) it’s not all work and no play with that guy.
– Even the manager of the Yankees has to get in some Spring Training workouts this season. After workouts were finished, Joe Girardi spent time doing batting practice with his son Dante, warming up his catching arm. I wonder if Girardi is considering the role of ‘emergency catcher’ this season. I think he still has some game in him.
Last Saturday, I posted a Keep Em’ or Dump Em’ article where you voted who you wanted to keep or who you wanted to dump. The results…weren’t very surprising. Let’s break down who you’d strongly keep and who you’d strongly throw away.
David Robertson (96.83%): David Robertson wasn’t as good as he was in 2011, but he was still very effective in 2012. Let the good pitching keep on going, D-Rob.
CC Sabathia (95.59%): CC Sabathia coming back in 2013? No brainer. He’s the ace. The workhorse. He’s CC. Enough said.
Derek Jeter (95.33%): It’s not a surprise that fans would want to keep Derek Jeter after a great 2012 season but after his ankle injury where he had surgery, going into the future you wonder if Jeter can continue to play SS or if he might have to go to the DH Spot.
Hiroki Kuroda (94.12%): For his first year in the American League East, Kuroda did a good job. If Ichiro re-signs with the Yankees, Kuroda would have to be a no-brainer to follow.
Brett Gardner (93.55%): So Brett Gardner proved that you don’t have to play in order to be extremely valuable to the Yankees. After seeing Cirque Du Left Field in 2012, Yankees fans can’t wait to get their speedy outfielder back into playing shape and defending LF like we know he can.
David Phelps (91.18%): In his first rookie year with the Yankees, Phelps was back and forth from the bullpen to the starting rotation. For a first year–he did good. Would be great to see him get a shot in the rotation in 2013.
Andy Pettitte (91.04%): Andy sure was dandy in 2012, so there’s no question why he’s on the Keep Em’ list. I’d bring back Andy too. Who cares if Andy’s 40 years old? He still pitches like he’s 25!
Boone Logan (90.63%): Boone Logan being in the category where players were to be strongly kept surprised me just a tad bit. But hey. Boone Logan was good in 2012. Can he do it all over again in 2013?
Ichiro Suzuki (90%): Ichiro was a mid season trade for the Yankees. A mid season trade that made Brian Cashman look like a pure genius after a plethora of failure trades (hint, hint: Javier Vasquez, Curtis Granderson, A.J Burnett). Ichiro might come back to the Yankees next season–if you guys were the GM and not Cashman. Honestly, I’d like Ichiro back to. No doubt about it.
Eduardo Nunez (89.93%): Eduardo Nunez is (almost) the perfect back up shortstop. He can run and he can hit. Why he’s not perfect? He can’t field. Hopefully Winter Ball will help him in 2013.
Freddy Garcia (95.59%): Look at the number of people that don’t want Freddy Garcia. I can’t explain that any further.
Andruw Jones (91.94%): After the terrible 2012 season he had, I can see why Yankees fans wouldn’t want him back in 2013. He says he wants to keep playing. Unfortunately, it’s not with this team.
Nick Swisher (85%): Nick Swisher had a good 2012 regular season but consistent playoff failures according to Yankees fans could be what ultimately sends Nick Swisher and his smiling face–out the door.
Derek Lowe (80%): Derek Lowe could be a great starting pitcher (or bullpen) pitcher for any team–but according to fans, it won’t be with the Yankees.
Alex Rodriguez (70%): Let’s admit it. A-Rod’s contract could possibly be the worst contract in baseball history. He’s deteriorating…and the Yankees still have to give him $110 Million dollars in the next 5 years. Does any team want A-Rod? Going once? Going twice?
* Not all players from the poll are listed. Just the ones that fans strongly wanted to keep and wanted to get rid of.
Good evening Yankees fans. Today Joe Girardi had his final press conference of the 2012 season and discussed some Yankees. Here was the gist of what Girardi said.
– CC Sabathia hasn’t visited Dr. Andrews but Girardi believes Sabathia will be ready for Spring Training.
– Girardi hasn’t spoken to Alex Rodriguez since the end of the postseason and he said that Rodriguez was (totally) healthy during the playoffs. Girardi also said that Alex Rodriguez will be the everyday third baseman.
– Girardi said Ichiro was a treat to be around but he’s not sure if the Yankees will try to bring him back.
– He hasn’t spoken to Mariano Rivera since the end of the regular season.
– There are no nagging injuries from any other player that we don’t know about.
– Girardi expects his coaches to return in 2013.
– And finally, Girardi will not discuss his contract that expires next season until next season is over.
If next season is Girardi’s last year…can there at least be a World Series trophy involved? Just saying.
Good evening everyone. Hope everyone is enjoying the offseason (and if not, hope you’re counting down to Spring Training). Tonight is Game 7 of the 2012 NLCS with the Cardinals and Giants so if you are still watching baseball, watch that game. A reminder that tomorrow night at 7pm, I will be hosting a live chat so make sure to come with questions or comments about the Yankees, free agent market, possible trades, etc. Here are some notes that have been floating around today that have to do with the Yankees.
Brian Cashman had a radio interview yesterday and covered some topics on certain players. Players like Eduardo Nunez, Michael Pineda (I know, you probably forgot all about him), Kevin Long, CC Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez. Here is what Brian Cashman had to say about each player.
On Eduardo Nunez: “I don’t look at Nunez being valuable in an everyday role other than a shortstop, and we have a shortstop. In terms of everyday status for Nuney, I don’t see one as long as Derek Jeter is standing there.” When asked about why Nunez can’t/won’t be in the outfield, Cashman said “All the calls of putting him in LF. I don’t understand.”
On Michael Pineda: “We have to keep [Pineda] off our radar for now. We’re talking June of next year.” – on Pineda’s shoulder injury.
On Kevin Long: “Kevin Long without question is one of the best hitting coaches in the game. And what took place here is a collective failure not an individual one, and no one is going to be pointed at as a scapegoat.”
On CC Sabathia: “If he has anything, it’s not considered major, but it’s obviously the time of year to really focus on it.” – on CC’s elbow.
On Alex Rodriguez: “Is he a superstar at that position (third base)? No. But I think when anyone signed that contract, expecting him to be at that level at that age would be unrealistic also.”
It had been a long, trying season for the Yankees where so much has happened. Yankees have lost Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, at a point lost Brett Gardner, David Robertson, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, suffered through hitting slumps by Russell Martin, Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson and a surprisingly good regular season by Nick Swisher. But the Yankees didn’t realize that the season doesn’t end after 162 games and fell flat against the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS and will now spend their offseason trying to piece it all together. The Yankees have to make decisions before the 2013 offseason, but if you were the GM of the Yankees who would you keep and who would you dump? Infield
Good morning everyone and a happy Sunday to you all!! Tonight CC Sabathia takes the hill in Game 1 of the 2012 ALDS vs. the Baltimore Orioles. Jason Hammel will pitch for the Orioles. First pitch is at 6:15pm! Stay tuned to the blog today where I will post the postseason 25 man roster and the lineup for Game 1. Until then, here are the morning bits!
– Welcome to October! On paper tonight the Yankees have the advantage vs. Jason Hammel but let’s see how this all plays out.
– According to Mike Lupica of the Daily News, the Orioles are the Yankees new Red Sox. If you mean annoying to the point where they won’t go away kind of like the pre-2011 & 2012 Red Sox then he’s exactly right.
Good evening everyone! It’s day 3 of the 3-day day off for the Yankees as they prepare to play the Baltimore Orioles. Today is the ALDS for the Tigers and the A’s while it’s the NLDS for the Reds and the Giants. Here are some off-day notes about the Yankees:
– The Yankees 25 man roster will be released tomorrow morning but for now, Joe Girardi has told us who will not make the roster. Here are some of players that haven’t made the roster.
Of course we will find out the rest tomorrow as the Yankees will look to defeat the Orioles and attempt to send them into the off-season.
Now it’s time to vote on what will be the outcome for the 2012 ALDS series!!
The Yankees are ¼ of the way to another World Series Championship. After winning the AL East and outlasting the Orioles, the Yankees will have to take the hot hitting they have had at the end of the year and transfer it to the ALDS and for the rest of the play-offs should they advance. Here are some key tips that the Yankees might want to do in order to go all the way in the play-offs.
Pitch Effectively: The Yankees are going to start with CC Sabathia for the first game and with Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte and (possibly) Phil Hughes taking a turn on the mound, the Yankees need to make sure that they pitch effectively and try to limit runs as much as they can. If they can do that then it could give the Yankees a chance to score some runs and win some games.
Hit with RISP: Speaking of scoring runs, the Yankees need to hit with runners in scoring position. That has been their Achilles heel throughout the regular season. The Yankees have gotten a bit better with RISP coming down the stretch when it came to clinching the AL East. Let’s see if that transfers into the play-offs.
Play ABC Baseball: I know this is not the Yankees style but this is one of the few effective ways to score runs without trying to swing for the fences. The Yankees have players with some serious speed now that Brett Gardner is healthy; Ichiro Suzuki is playing the outfield and Eduardo Nunez is available off the bench. With guys like that able to steal bases, it allows the Yankees to get base hits and score them. Remember, homers hurt but speed kills.
A-Rod, Teixeira, Swisher—Wake up: The Yankees need Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher to wake up from their postseason funks and hit the baseball with authority if they want to make it far. Swisher seemed to have been hitting towards the end of the season but Mark Teixeira since coming back from hurting his calf looks lost at the plate and A-Rod has looked lost at the plate all year. A-Rod and Teixeira are pretty lucky they can’t be traded—Swisher not so much so this would be a great time for Swisher to start hitting.
Robinson Cano, Don’t Ya Know: Robinson Cano has been hitting out of this world for the past week and Yankees fans are only hoping that Cano is able to transfer his hitting skills from the end of the season to the postseason. Cano has looked red hot and he could be the person that carries this team all the way to the World Series—kind of like A-Rod did in 2009.
Are there any other keys to the play-offs that you think the Yankees should follow for a successful postseason? Place your thoughts in the comments below.
Good evening everyone. The Yankees don’t play again tonight but there was baseball to be played since the 2 Wild Card games were on TBS. The Cardinals (controversially) won the NL Wild Card game which sent the Braves packing and the Cardinals to the NLDS. Tonight the Yankees will find out whether they are heading to Baltimore or whether they are heading down to Texas. While we wait for that, here are some notes from today.
– The Yankees won’t release the 25 man roster until tomorrow but the Yankees did reveal that Casey McGehee did not make the postseason roster. He reportedly took it hard.
– Joe Girardi confirmed that CC Sabathia would pitch Game 1 of the ALDS but he didn’t say who he was going to pitch in Game 2.
– Jayson Nix says that he feels he’s well enough to make the postseason roster but he’s not sure whether he will make the roster.
– While watching tonight’s Orioles and Rangers game, who would you rather see play the Yankees in the ALDS: The Orioles or the Rangers?
Good evening everyone. There’s no baseball at all tonight so we’re going to post some tidbits and notes that have been stirring around from Yankee Land. Here are some evening notes.
– The Yankees have yet to make the postseason roster but there are 3 definite players aside from the other starters for the roster: David Phelps, Eduardo Nunez and Brett Gardner (Brian Cashman confirmed Gardner today).
– The Yankees might either face the Orioles or Rangers on Sunday so the question is–who would you rather face?
– Andruw Jones might get a roster spot for the postseason. I don’t think he should be on the roster considering he had a pretty bad 2012 regular season and there are hitters that could be of assistance on the bench. Players such as Chris Dickerson perhaps?
– A lot of writers believe that Andy Pettitte should start Game 2 of the play-offs instead of Hiroki Kuroda. Here I would have to agree. Kuroda has a better home record than an away record and since the Yankees are on the road to begin the play-offs, it would make the most sense to have CC Sabathia and Pettitte for Games 1 & 2 and Kuroda and Hughes for Game 3 & 4. Sabathia would pitch Game 5 if it came down to that.
– In other news that has nothing to do with the Yankees but the Red Sox fired Bobby Valentine after 1 year with the Red Sox. Honestly, the Red Sox never should have fired Terry Francona to bring in Bobby Valentine. Francona won 2 championships and had one bad year. Bobby Valentine came in and made everything worse.
Right around the corner is the most exciting time of the year for any team—the postseason. While there are teams that have clinched their spot in the postseason, there are teams like the Yankees that are so close to clinching that they could taste it. However, they still have to battle to stay in 1st place in the American League East. While it is almost certain that the Yankees will be in another postseason, the Yankees have other things on their minds as in after they clinch a spot. What will they be doing? They will be preparing their 2012 ALDS roster (if they are in first place by the end of the season). After observing the Yankees for a while, I decided to compile a list of who would make the 25-man roster for the ALDS series against what looks to be the Detroit Tigers. (Statistics are as of the morning of September 28, 2012).
Derek Jeter (2012 Season: .318 AVG, 15 HR, 57 RBI): Of course, you cannot be in the postseason without the Captain Derek Jeter. Jeter has had a phenomenal year and will end the year with an average over .300. The last time Jeter finished with an average over .300 was in 2009. How did that end out for the Yankees? Jeter had silenced the critics and had done his thing, but can he continue into the postseason and lead the Yankees to another championship?
Robinson Cano (2012 Season: .300 AVG, 30 HR, 82 RBI): Robinson Cano is one of the best second baseman in the game and he knows how to hit. While Cano has been up and down this year, he has been consistent defensively and can help Yankees pitching by preserving runs and getting double plays with a flick of a wrist. He makes that pivot to first base better than any second baseman than I have seen. Cano was one of the very few Yankees who had a hot bat during last year’s ALDS (along with Jorge Posada and Brett Gardner respectively), so it would be nice to see Cano get on a tear.
Mark Teixeira (2012 Season: .255 AVG, 23 HR, 81 RBI): Comparing Teixeira’s numbers from 2011 and from this year, this year has not been Teixeira’s best. But can you blame the guy? He has been sidelined with a Grade 1 strained calf. While he will make the roster for the play-offs, I doubt he will be 100 percent healthy. Teixeira also is one of the few culprits that seem to mysteriously lose his hitting talents in the play-offs. He needs to have a hot and consistent bat in the play-offs or else it could be an early exit for the Yankees—again.
Alex Rodriguez (2012 Season: .276 AVG, 18 HR, 56 RBI): Now, if the stats were for another player say maybe Eduardo Nunez, Chris Dickerson or Brett Gardner that would be a hell of a year. Unfortunately, it is for the guy that the Yankees gave a lucrative contract that last for another 5 years and did not hit the way that the Yankees were expecting. A-Rod is going to make the roster…but all season he has looked terribly lost at the plate. He is also another culprit that has not hit in the postseason in recent years (no, I am not counting 2009). A-Rod needs to get his act together and very quickly or else…you know. A first round exit for the Yankees.
Russell Martin (2012 Season: .209 AVG, 19 HR, 49 RBI): So this hasn’t been Russell Martin’s best year offensively (the 19 HR’s make the .209 AVG look less hideous) but the reason he makes the postseason roster is because of his defense. He also has been heating up at the plate as of late which means he could be on a tear any day now. He also was the only one that did not look lost during the ugly 6-0 loss to the Blue Jays on Thursday night, cranking 2 hits off Morrow. Martin could add to the offense, which could be something that the Yankees need.
Tonight CC Sabathia will get another chance to prove that he is healthy and that he can be the ace the Yankees expect him to be heading down the stretch. The Yankees ace has seen a September swoon that has seen people questioning his health. He is 0-3 with a 4.67 ERA over his last four starts and he has blown leads in the last five starts. You can talk about whatever you want with the Yankees, but if Sabathia doesn’t turn this around the Yankees can forget about championship number 28.
There are many parts of this Yankees team that you can analyze, but at this point it really starts and ends with Sabathia. If he is going to continue to pitch like has over his last five starts then nothing else about the team even matters. This is not to suggest that Sabathia has had a bad season, but his 3.63 ERA is his highest since 2005. For a normal pitcher he has been fine, but as the ace of the staff Sabathia has much higher expectations, which he hasn’t reached yet.
Looking at Sabathia peripheral numbers suggest he has been a bit unlucky this season. Sabathia’s 8.64 K/9 this season is his 3rd best mark for his career and his 2.05 BB/9 is the 2nd lowest of his career. Sabathia’s LD % this season is 20%, his GB % is 48.6% and his FB % is 30.6%. For his career, Sabathia’s LD % is 20.2%, his GB% is 45.4% and his FB% is 34.4%. So to sum up, Sabathia is striking out more batters this year, walking less batters, getting batters to line out at about the same rate, getting more ground balls and getting less fly outs, but he is having an off year by his standards. Doesn’t make sense does it?
The main difference between Sabathia this year and previous seasons are home runs. Sabathia’s HR/FB ratio is a gaudy 13.8%, which is the highest mark of his career by far. That would seem to be unlucky because he is allowing less fly balls this year than normal. Sabathia’s 3.30 xFIP would also suggest that he has been unlucky this season. This is not to make excuses for Sabathia in anyway shape or form, it is just pointing that he has probably pitched better this year then his numbers look on the surface. Sabathia’s xFIP of 3.30 is better than Hiroki Kuroda’s mark of 3.63, yet everybody has been raving about Kuroda this year and rightfully so. It all comes down to expectations. Coming from the NL West expectations for Kuroda were modest, even though I had a lot faith in him personally. The expectations for Sabathia were much greater so even though Kuroda has had better results than CC this season, there has not been as great of a difference in their pitching as the perception is.
The main reason that people question whether Sabathia is healthy is because of his fastball velocity. His fastball velocity is down to 92.3 MPH as compared to 93.4 MPH for his career. This has led to his fastball being a very ineffective pitch this season. Fangraph’s pitch value has Sabathia’s fastball at a brutal -15.6. Sabathia’s pitch value for his fastball for his Yankees career before this season had been 8.1. This is what has Yankee fans concerned about his future. If Sabathia is really hurt then hopefully he gets that velocity back next season. But, if the loss of velocity is due to the wear and tear of pitching a lot of innings of a long career, then who knows if it will come back. He will need to start using his fastball more effectively if he wants to improve.
The Yankees starting pitching is probably the best part of their team right now. Kuroda and Phil Hughes have done a good job consistently for a long period of time now. Andy Pettitte looked like the Pettite of old before he got hurt this season and Ivan Nova looked like a new pitcher on his first start of the DL. However, none of this matters unless Sabathia pitches to his capabilities. He has had a disappointing season so far, but there are still many important games left to be pitched. Sabathia still has an opportunity to earn his ace card back this season. Will he?
Looking ahead is not a bad thing. The Yankees looked ahead when it came to releasing the 2013 schedule, so why not look ahead to see who could be on the field when you go to a game in 2013. Here is how I picture the Yankees having their alignment of players in 2013.
Let us start in the outfield, shall we? In left field, we have none other than the Yankees speedster Brett Gardner (2012: .321 AVG, 0 HR, 3 RBI). Now keep in mind that Gardner has only played in nine games and was shut down for the duration of the season due to elbow surgery. Gardner is a catalyst for the Yankees and plays the game Joe Girardi hates to play–small ball. He gets on base, he steals, he bunts and he is one of the best defensive players in baseball. Gardner is arbitration eligible so do not expect there to be much of a fight since Gardner has not played most of the year.
In center field, we have another speedster but he is known for his power bat, Curtis Granderson (2012: .233 AVG, 37 HR, 89 RBI). 2013 is Granderson’s free agent year and after the Kevin Long tutorial in 2010; Granderson has become a home run hitter. Now, Granderson does not hit for singles or doubles (note the .233 average) but he is a power bat, which is something the Yankees could use in the heart of the lineup. What happens after 2013, we do not know but—at least the Yanks could see Granderson’s bat in the lineup in 2013.
In right field, you may be a bit surprised by my choice but I believe Nick Swisher (2012: .258 AVG, 20 HR, 78 RBI) will be in Yankees pinstripes in 2013. Now, why do I think Swisher will be a Yankee? Because along with Swisher’s good bat in the lineup, he has a charming and bubbly personality that would be sorely missed if he ever left the team. The Yankees were a serious bunch before Swisher came along and now the team seems livelier. Swisher has left an imprint on the team—but if Swisher signs with the Yanks, he cannot expect a $100 Million contract. We are still recovering from 3 of those.
In the infield, we have of course the third baseman Alex Rodriguez (2012: .276 AVG, 17 HR, 50 RBI). A-Rod this season is not A-Rod but he has come back a hot hitter since getting off the DL. In addition, A-Rod is stuck with the Yankees until his contract expires in 2018 (Yikes).
At shortstop, we have the Captain Derek Jeter (2012: .323 AVG, 15 HR, 53 RBI) who becomes a free agent in 2014. There is not much to explain about Jeter except for the fact he is having his best year average wise since 2009.
At second base, there is the young Robinson Cano (2012: .299 AVG, 30 HR, 77 RBI) who is by far the Yankees best player. He plays second base so smoothly and has a great pop to his bat. For a person who does not think he has home run power—he is mistaken. He is a home run hitter. That is all.
Finally, to round out the infield, we have Mark Teixeira (2012: .255 AVG, 23 HR, 81 RBI). Teixeira is stuck with us until 2017 and even if the Yankees wanted to trade Teixeira (they do not), they cannot because of Teixeira’s no trade clause. We might as well make the best of it so Tex…we are going to need lots of game winning and World Series winning HR’s until then.