Earlier today, Rob did a column on what he expects from the Yankees this season. After reading his post, I wanted to chime in with my own thoughts on where I think the Yankees will end up. Rob believes the Yankees will end up sitting at home in October but I on the other hand believe the Yankees have a chance to compete in the postseason with a weak American League East, has a chance to compete in the postseason.While I believe the Yankees have a chance at entering the postseason, they’d have to clinch the American League East first, and for that to happen, a lot of things would have to go in the Yankees favor:
— IF Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda all find a way to stay healthy this season. Tanaka’s elbow is still hanging by a limb, CC Sabathia hasn’t looked sharp during Spring Training and while Michael Pineda was brilliant, he only made 13 starts in 2014. However, while the Yankees were hit with the injury bug last season, the rotation wasn’t their biggest problem. It was actually their least concerning problem.
— IF Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann have productive 2015 seasons. Teixeira spent most of the season on the disabled list, Beltran didn’t hit and McCann didn’t turn on the power until the last third of the season–when it was a little too late. The Yankees are paying Teixeira, Beltran and McCann a ton of money to play this season and it’s time for those players to live up to their contracts.
— IF Alex Rodriguez can be productive. Rodriguez had a very impressive Spring Training and actually gave the Yankees what they were searching for–hope. While Rodriguez’s production during Spring Training was nice, it’s questionable on whether he can continue his production throughout the season. If he can, the Yankees could have a very dangerous middle of the order.
— IF the bullpen can continue it’s lock down success. The Yankees were able to survive the retirement of Mariano Rivera last season by appointing David Robertson as the closer. However, as soon as the 2014 season ended, Robertson went to Chicago to play for the White Sox. What was once the Yankees strength is now a mystery–Dellin Betances had a terrible spring, Andrew Miller has only closed one game in his career and you don’t know exactly what you’re going to get from Chasen Shreve or Chris Martin. The plus side is David Carpenter was everything McCann endorsed and Justin Wilson has looked pretty good in his Spring outings. With so many new guys in the pen, there’s hope everything will click together and the Yankees bullpen could once again be the teams biggest asset.
As you can tell, there are a lot of “if’s” in the Yankees quest to making the postseason, but maybe this is the year where everything goes in the Yankees favor, especially with the weakened AL East; the Orioles lost some of their power bats, the Red Sox rotation has it’s holes, the Blue Jays have already been plagued with injuries and the Rays haven’t made enough moves to be considered a serious contender. Even though the Yankees roster doesn’t appear impressive, they still have a legitimate chance at breaking their two-year postseason drought. They’ll make it if Joe Girardi pushes all the right buttons. He’s done it before and I’m willing to bet he can keep the Yankees in the postseason race again.