Better With Age: 2010 New York Yankees

The defending champs.  Still hurts saying that even in April, but you know what?  They were the best team last year.  Solid from the top of the organization al the way through to the 25th guy on the roster.  They were able to get rid of a few monkeys too.  A-Rod and his playoff past.  Girardi escaping the Torre shadow.  The YES network/ Susyn Waldman curse. 

I don’t think it’s possible for me to be as complimentary of this team.  I love their rotation.  I think the addition of Javier Vasquez is going to be large.  I don’t expect him to duplicate last years NL numbers, but a 12-15 win season, 180-210 k’s and an era between 4.10-4.30 is sure feasible.  This allows the Yanks to bring along Phil Hughes slowly.  My one concern is the mileage on CC Sabathia’s arm.  Last year he threw almost 300 innings.  We’ll see how he bounces back. 

The bullpen once again is anchored with the ageless wonder Mariano Rivera.  The Yanks are smart riding him till ne can’t throw no more.  He seems to get better with age.  I’m glad they came to their senses by having Joba in the pen.  the kid was born to be a closer and is the obvious heir apparent.  Don’t mess with a good thing.  I loved the addition of Chan Ho Park (or Chop) as the long man/spot starter.  I see a little Ramiro Mendosa type role for him.  Lets be honest though, I don’t see a lot of close games so the rest of the bullpen won’t be an issue.

Offensively, the word that comes to mind is stacked.  Yes they lost Damon and Matsui but Granderson and Nick Johnson are younger, and let’s be honest better.  The weakest link of the line-up is Brett Gardner in the nine-hole.  That’s right, a #9 hitter who can steal you 50 bases, not a bad “weak link.”

The only thing standing in the way of this team is their age.  Can Jeter continue to be a top-5 shortstop?  Can Pettitte last another year?  When will Posada and Mo break down?  It’ll happen someday, for the Yanks and their fans, hopefully it’s next year. 

The rest of baseball hopes it’s now, otherwise we’ll be watching yet another parade through the Canyon of Heroes in late October.

-Jason-

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