It's about that time everyone. Baseball season is right around the corner and the Yankees Opening Day is just 6 days away. As has been the case for the last four years or so, I have no idea what to expect from the Yankees this year other than the fact that they'll probably make me angrier than I've ever been and that they'll win the World Series.
KEY OFFSEASON MOVES
- Not re-signing 2B Stephen Drew: It was astounding that this mother fucker was the Yankees starting second baseman for the majority of last season. The dude - simply put- sucks. At life. At baseball. At not looking like a down syndromed piece of shit. He sucks. The Yankees gained a win or two just by not re-signing this douchebag.
- Traded for Cubs SS/2B Starlin Castro: Sure, the Yankees gave up a valuable piece of their team in Adam Warren to get Castro, but Castro is a huge upgrade at a position that severely diminished the Yankees line-up last season. I always like Castro when he was with the Cubs, and I can already tell I'm gonna love him in pinstripes. Obviously he still hasn't played a lot of second base but there's no doubt he's an upgrade in the line-up over Stephen Drew, and he should be fine in the field.
- Traded for Reds Closer Aroldis Chapman: The Yankees gave up basically nothing to get one of the best closers in the game and add to an already FILTHY back end of the bullpen. Sure, he's suspended for 30 games, but the 2015 AL Reliever of the Year is the back up closer sooooo we should be good while he's out. Betances, Miller, and Chapman is SCARY.
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Brett Gardner, LF
Alex Rodriguez, DH
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Brian McCann, C
Carlos Beltran, RF
Starlin Castro, 2B
Chase Headley, 3B
Didi Gregorious, SS
Key Bench Players:
- Rob Refsnyder (for when Girardi gives him a real chance and realizes that he gives the Yanks a better chance to win than Chase Headley does)
- Aaron Hicks (acquired from Twins for John Ryan Murphy; for when Jacoby Ellsbury inevitably gets injured)
- Dustin Ackley (for when Mark Teixeira inevitably gets injured, or when Girardi has his head up his asshole)
- Mason Williams/Slade Heathcott (I don't know which extra outfielder the Yankees will keep but I don't think they'll keep both of these guys. Whoever it is will be used when Carlos Beltran inevitably dies.)
- Austin Romine (back up catcher, will end up playing an unnecessary amount of games because Girardi thinks a 31 year old catcher needs two days off every week)
If all goes well, this isn't a bad line-up, and it could end up being a very good one. Last year's offense somehow scored the second most runs in the league, and on paper this line-up is much better than last year's. Now I know all the old guys that had pretty solid seasons last year are just that much older this year, but they're still good players. There's a very real chance that A-Rod and Tex both put up 30 homers again, and that Beltran doesn't die. But there's also a very real chance that all three, along with Ellsbury miss significant time due to injuries. Ellsbury and Gardner will probably have solid first halves (first month in Ellsbury's case) and get our hopes up. Then Ellsbury will get injured and won't be the same when he returns. Gardner will fall apart after the all star break. And the Yankees offense will die. Castro, Headley and Didi actually make a pretty solid 7-8-9, but would be even better if Refsnyder was starting at third. Didi made huge strides towards the end of last year, Headley is the most average hitter one could be, sucks at fielding, and Castro is a 26 year old three time all star. not a bad bottom third of the line-up if you ask me.
I think those top 3 can go toe to toe with the top 3 of any rotation in the MLB. Whether they will or not is a whole other ordeal. Tanaka and Pineda can look like Cy Young candidates for a good stretch and then look like complete morons a good amount of starts. Luis Severino showed that he can pitch in the big leagues last year when he was brought up and I think he'll be a god damn stud this year. The Yankees got more out of Nathan Eovaldi last year than anyone else has been able to. He had a long stretch before getting injured in September where he was pretty much dominant. Hopefully he can pitch like that more often than not in 2016. And as far as that fifth spot goes, I'm giving it to CC just because Ivan Nova has pitched out of the bullpen in the past and I don't think the Yanks are okay with paying a long reliever $23 million. Might as well see if CC is back or not.
KEY BULLPEN PITCHERS
Best bullpen in the majors. Period. Try hitting Betances, Miller and Chapman. Can't do it. I'll be surprised if any of them allow a base runner this season.
94-68 1st Place in AL East
Masahiro Tanaka AL Cy Young
This is where I'd usually pick one of the Yankees to win the AL MVP just because fuck every other team, but Mike Trout is winning the AL MVP every year until the Yankees sign Bryce Harper after the 2018 season, AND there is no player on the Yankees that has the ability to win an MVP award right now. Maybe Tanaka will be dominant enough to win the MVP too, who knows.
Yanks win #28. Duh.
Be on the lookout for a full MLB preview and predictions blog later in the week.