Hey everyone! I am very sorry for not yet posting anything since last December. A lot has happened withe Yankees since my last post. Here’s a look at some of the off season moves and how 2012 looks for the bombers.
Since 2009 the New York Yankees have had one prospect that seemingly every team in the league wanted to get their hands on. That prospect was none other than Catcher/DH Jesus Montero who ironically was considered by some of the Yankee’s ownership as the savior of the organization. Montero who is only 22 years old has already shown that he is a monster with a bat in his hand. In only 18 games last season the Phenom had 4 HR’s ,12 RBI’s and a BAA of .328 . In most of these games he played as a DH instead of behind the plate. What the 2011 Yankees had in hitting they lacked in their pitching staff. Because of their poor pitching GM Brian Cashman felt that it was a necessity for the team to add at least 2 more arms to its starting rotation. So on January 14th 2012 in a trade with the Seattle Mariners the Yankees parted ways with their coveted prospect in exchange for a young 23-year-old SP by the name of Michael Pineda. Pineda like Montero had been the prized possession in the Seattle farm system, standing at a towering 6’7 ” Pineda can reach speeds upwards of 99 mph on the radar gun and features a slider that breaks in hard on Left Handed batters. Along with the acquiring of Pineda the team also sign RHP Hiroki Kuroda who spent the 2011 season in LA with the Dodgers. The 36-year-old Kuroda is a native of Japan and has been in the majors for 3 seasons. Kuroda is not a pitcher that will over power hitters like Pineda will but will instead use strategy and movement with his pitches to fool hitters. His numbers weren’t too shabby with a career ERA of 3.45 2011 was not an awful year by any means for Kuroda. With a 13-16 record and an ERA of 3.07 Hiroki should really benefit from the Yankees offense that is much stronger and more reliable than the bats in LA.
With the addition of these two arms Manager Joe Giaradi will have some flexibility on how he wants to set up his rotation. Here’s how I would do it if I were in his shoes.
- CC Sabathia LHP : He’s the ACE you’ve gotta put him as your leader
- Ivan Nova RHP: Still young Nova proved himself last season
- Michael Pineda RHP: The big acquisition,Pineda will have to show he was worth the price of Montero
- Hiroki Kuroda RHP: Coming over from the NL his number should dip somewhat but will feel comfortable with Yankees bats behind him
- Either AJ Burnett or Phil Hughes : Both Hughes and Burnett had seasons to forget in 2011. Hughes only pitched in 17 games battling with injures throughout the season while Burnett had most of the Yankees Universe asking for his departure. This will be a Spring training decision.
After the Starting rotation the Yankees have one of the stronger bullpens returning from 2011. With old reliable Mariano in the closer role along with Dave Robertson , Rafael Soriano and Joba Chamberlain to set up and even a core group of lefty specialists like Boone Logan,Pedro Feliciano.
As for the lineup and fielding spots here’s my picks.
- SS Derek Jeter :Still captain clutch and continuing to prove his doubters and skeptics wrong look for Jeter to at least start this season 1st in the order
- CF Curtis Granderson: Coming off of an MVP caliber season Granderson is a solid lock at 2nd in the order
- 1B Mark Texiera: solid, still one of the best in the order
- 2B Robinson Cano: Yes I have Cano at 4 over AROD simply because of recent history and potential, Cano will be in the MVP race in 2012
- DH Alex Rodriguez: Like Tex he is still one of the better players in the game with the bat but not the same in the field which is why there is a DH next to his name
- RF Nick Swisher: A down year in 2011 swish has a lot to prove in 2012
- C Russell Martin: Will start the year as the as the number 1 Catcher on the roster but the development of Austin Romine will be something watch
- 3B Eduardo Nunez: He earned his spot last season and will be a sight to see in 2012, the latest infielder to come from the farm system
- LF Brett Gardner: He will get reps at the leadoff spot but for now he is batting at the end of the order.
As for the season itself I like the Yankees to perform at high level in 2012. They have proven that they can beat the Nation to the north and should be the winners of the AL East if all goes as planned.
What I will also say about 2012 is that like in 2007 the team will showcase and feature young talented arms. Back in 07 it was Joba Chamberlain , Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy that showcased their talents for the Yankee Universe, now guys like RHP Dellin Batances,RHP D.J. Mitchell and C Austin Romine will showcase their talents and cor=tribute to not only;y this team but also for teams to come in the future.