1- How bad will the 2011 Yankees starting rotation be? The 2011 NY Yankees starting pitching staff on paper looks as bad as the mid-00′s teams. This is a rotation that fell apart in the dog days last year. I’m also pretty sure Ivan Nova will not get a legit chance to be the every day fourth starter. A legit chance, to me, would be to give him the ball for 3 months straight and see what he could do every 5th day. If Phil Hughes has made the adjustment to increase his stamina, the Yanks may have 2 aces, but potentially slots 3-5 could be serious trouble for the first time in years.
2- Will the Yankees win the Wild Card? Early computer simulations have the team at 89-92 wins. The Boston Red Sox may run away with the American League East, and it’s not only because of the additions they made; since the team was crippled with so many injuries in 2010, they are bound to rebound, not to mention that 2010 Red Sox team lost many 1-run games. History shows that teams that lose a bunch of 1-run games, improve the following year. Don’t write off the Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays, or Baltimore Orioles from putting things together and making things interesting.
3- Is Jesus Montero the real deal? Jesus is coming, but the Bible says we won’t know the exact time. My brain hurts trying to conceive the current cluster of catchers in Yankees Spring Training right now. We still don’t know what will happen if Jesus Montero hits well and catches well in Spring Training. Will he kick off Fransisco Cervelli from the Majors? Or is Montero just trade bait? Why even wait until May to bring him up? Is he just insurance in case a catcher gets hurt?
4- Is Russell Martin an every day catcher? This guy has been injured often, and even Joe Torre and Don Mattingly didn’t have faith that he could have put his career back on track with the Dodgers. Is Russell Martin really Jorge Posada’s successor or just a stop-gap until a catching prospect takes over in 2012 or 2013? If Martin can’t hit- and we have every reason to believe- he will not hit, will he lose his starting role to Jesus or Jorge?
5- Will Jorge Posada really be the every day DH? For the first time in ages, there are three questions about the Yankees catching situation. This is Posada’s last year and you can imagine that he wants to go out in a blaze of glory and force Joe Girardi to play every day and even catch. Jorge isn’t into being DH, and guaranteed that he will catch.
6- Will Andruw Jones platoon with Curtis Granderson and get a lot of playing time? Not only does Andruw Jones suck, but this may actually harm Granderson’s confidence batting against lefties. Lefty Paul O’Neil said he developed into a real professional hitter after Joe Torre ran him out there against lefties (Buck Showalter had benched him.)
7- Will the Yankees bench once again suck? The Yankees are so in love with Ramiro Pena-type infielders and utility men. The Spring Training battle to for the utility role includes punch-and-judy hitters such as Pena, Eduardo Nunez, Reegie Corona, Kevin Russo, and Doug Bernier. Brian Cashman held onto Nunez instead of including him in a trade for Cliff Lee. He had better be good, but he seems like a joke so far, not that much better than Bubble of Suck infielder Angel Berroa. MEANWHILE, there are no sure-thing reserve outfielders after Andruw Jones.
8- Will Mark Teixeira show any nagging injuries from surgery and have another bad April and May?
9- Will the Yankees bullpen truly be lights out as advertised? The Three No’s (Pedro Feliciano, Rafael Soriano, and Mariano Rivera) should lock up the 8th + 9th, but I have a feeling Joe Girardi will not allow Pedro to have all of the 7th, which means we can pray that Dave Robertson, Boone Logan, and Joba Chamberlain could work the 6th and 7th innings well. Sergio Mitre is the only long-man, which could spell trouble.
10- Who will improve or regress? That’s the fun thing about baseball. No Stat Head could predict what’s going to happen at the micro-level. Will Brett Gardner continue to improve? Will Derek Jeter fall down even more? Will A-Rod’s hip continue to drain his power? Will Robinson Cano continue to be the Yankees MVP? Will A.J. Burnett step up? Stay tuned for a LONG SEASON in which the 2011 Yankees will attempt to win the 2011 AL Wild Card. Shall I print up shirts yet?
- The 2012 Yankees Catching Problem
- 2011 Cashman Reveals Jorge Posada DH, Joba Chamberlain Bullpen
- Michael Pineda on DL With Shoulder Issues: Oops
- JESUS Montero Scouting Report and Personality Profile
- Yankees Make No Trades and It’s a Headline
- Cashman Trades Jesus Montero for Michael Pineda, Signs Hiroki Kuroda
- Kei Igawa looking for fresh start
- Spring Training Impressions: Dellin Betances, Ivan Nova, Jesus Montero
- 2012 Yankees Pitching Staff: Seven Guys?
- Why Did the Yankees Lose the 2011 ALDS? Heroes and Goats
- 2011 Andruw Jones Yankees
- Cashman to Trade Francisco Cervelli Due to Podcast
- Andruw Jones is BACK With the 2012 Yankees!
- Brian Cashman on the Do-Nothing 2012 Yankees: “I Used to Care”
- Michael Pineda Surgery: One Year DL; Cashman Gets Free Pass From Media
- Red Sox Bobby Jenks; Yankees Pedro FELICIANO?
- Andy Pettitte Retires
- Is Kei Igawa Still With The Yankees?
- 2013 Yankees Moves: No Catcher, Re-Sign Pitching
- The 2012 Yankees at the All-Star Break Report