Health will determine Yankees’ playoff success

Okay, this is obvious. Any team is better when completely healthy. With the Yankees, however, the task of getting completely healthy is a taller order than with most teams. They have many older players, and these players have proven to be key to the Yankees success. In the second half the Yankees have struggled. People have speculated about many reasons for the second half collapse, however one of the biggest reasons has been the inability to get, and more importantly keep, everyone healthy.

Pettitte, Sabathia, A-Rod, Teixeira, and even Curtis Granderson have spent time on the disabled list in the second half. When all of these players have been healthy, the Yankees have been effective. When one or more of them have been hurt, they have been ineffective.

Whether the Yankees make the playoffs as a division leader or wild card, the key to how far they advance will be their health. If the Yankees can go into the post season with the following lineup intact, I have faith that they can and will go deep into the playoffs, and possibly even reach the pinnacle of the sport and go to the world series.

Ichiro Suzuki
Derek Jeter
Robinson Cano
Alex Rodriguez
Curtis Granderson
Mark Teixeira
Nick Swisher
Russell Martin
Raul Ibanez/Eric Chavez/Andruw Jones

CC Sabathia
Hiroki Kuroda
Andy Pettitte
Phil Hughes

That’s one helluva team when healthy, and I think it’s a team that will go deep into the playoffs if the Yankees can get healthy. Their starting rotation is as good as any in the league. Their lineup is still the most dangerous in the league outside of maybe Texas. The combination of hitting and pitching should be enough to take them deep into the playoffs.

The problem is this isn’t an easy task for the Yankees. Every time someone comes back, it seems like another player goes down. With all of these aging players, it will be a miracle if they start the playoffs completely healthy. If they do, however, they can and will make a bigtime playoff run. Here’s to watching another playoff run, and being a part of the luckiest fan base in the world.

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