Despite the Yankees scoring an MLB-leading 859 runs (the Boston Red Sox, with 818, were a distant second) and 201 HRs, third-highest in the league, KLong believes seven of the nine regulars in the Yankee lineup can have better seasons in 2011.
The only two players he excepted from the assessment were Robinson Cano, who had a breakout season batting .319 with 29 HRs and 109 RBI, and Nick Swisher (.288-29-89). “It would be hard for Cano and Swisher to duplicate what they did last year,” Long said. “If they stay even close to that, great. But I expect the rest of them to do better.”
For the record, here are the Yankees regulars 2010 statistics (not including Russell Martin):
But if the bulk of these players stay healthy in 2011 it is reasonable to expect at least Jeter, A-Rod, Mark Teixeira, and Curtis Granderson to all have better seasons in 2011. That’s four players who expecting a bigger year from is not nearly out of the question.
The other three players would be Martin, Jorge Posada, and Brett Gardner. Martin is getting a change of scenery and his non-tender from the Dodgers may act as a wake-up call. Posada could benefit from playing an entire season as the DH and Gardner was hurt last year. So while these three players not be a great bet like the other four are – there is reason to be optimistic for all.
Obviously this is a wait and see type of thing, but the fact that it is reasonable to expect that there could be as many as seven Yankees who have better offensive seasons this year is reason to be optimistic. Maybe the Yankees don’t have the best rotation in baseball, but they should win their fair share of games by slugging their way through them.
In Matthews’ article, Long also talked about Jesus Montero. He had heavy praise for his bat and said that he could help the Yankees immediately. Adding him into the mix because he could pick up the slack for either Martin or Posada if one of them has a poor season.