INFIELD: The Yankees infield is another piece that has some question marks but it’s not about production–it’s about health. Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter are coming off serious wrist and ankle injuries and Brian Roberts hasn’t played a full season since 2009. If they’re all healthy and productive, the infield should be fine but if not, the Yankees might have a difficult time trying to piece together a depleted infield.
OUTFIELD: The Yankees outfield is one of the few spots that is set and stone: Carlos Beltran will play right field, Jacoby Ellsbury will play center field and Brett Gardner will play left field. Alfonso Soriano will be used as the occasional right fielder and the primary designated hitter while Ichiro Suzuki’s role is currently undefined. Barring a trade, Ichiro would be the Yankees fifth outfielder, which means his at-bats could be severely limited if everyone stays healthy and is productive. There are the occasional questions about the health of the outfield (mainly Ellsbury and Beltran) but if they can stay healthy, there’s no telling what the outfield can do.
OVERALL: Many analysts have said the Yankees could be a World Series team or they could fall back to third place with this 2014 ball club. I’m going to make a bold prediction and say the Yankees will make the postseason and will win the American League pennant. Many analysts count them out, but I’ve seen what each component can do when they’re all playing their best. When the starting pitching does well, they’re almost un-hittable. When the bullpen does well, it’s almost impossible for an opposing team to make a comeback. When the outfield does well defensively, not many balls will fall between them and if the infield stays healthy, they should have a productive year. The team as a whole gives Yankees fans new hope and I believe this team has what it takes to make it to the World Series and even win. Besides, a World Series victory would be a great way for Derek Jeter to leave the game after 20 glorious seasons.