"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

2011 New York Yankees, Assemble

Well, the Yankees pretty much have their team together now — yesterday they crossed most of their t’s and dotted the bulk of their i’s.

Eric Chavez? In.

Edward Nunez? More reluctantly in.

Austin Romine and The Jesus? Minors, AA and AAA respectively.

Gustavo Molina? In, and may god have mercy on your soul.

Mark Prior? To A-ball, for the weather.

Romulo Sanchez? Sold to a Japanese team.

Ronnie Belliard? Fed to the sarlacc.

Things will change, of course, especially this year. I don’t know which of Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon and Ivan Nova will spend all season with the Yankees, but I very much doubt it will be all three. And this Molina situation (that’s what I insist on calling it – “this Molina situation” or “this Molina issue”) is very much temporary. I really like the Eric Chavez signing, and I like that Edward Nunez will not, barring disaster, see much playing time. The core of the Yankees is another story althogher  – we’ll get a lot of C.C. Sabathia and Robbie Cano and so forth, with just a soupçon of Colon. If you will.

Still: the Yankees’ fringes are quite fringe-y this year, aren’t they? I suppose not much more than usual – but having the two rotation spots to plug up somehow rather than the standard one does give the roster a bit of a different feel.

I’m guessing this won’t be a popular choice in these here parts, but in my preseason picks for Baseball Prospectus and The Daily, I had the Red Sox winning the division and the Rays getting the Wild Card, with the Yankees coming in a respectable third. I could easily be wrong, of course – I very often am  – and I certainly wouldn’t be shocked if the Yanks finished better than that. I don’t think they’ll be a bad team, by any stretch – it’s just that the AL East is so tough, and looking at the Yanks’ pitching, I don’t see it being enough.

I’m sure looking forward to finding out, though.

Categories:  Baseball  Emma Span  News of the Day  Yankees

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1 rbj   ~  Mar 29, 2011 10:00 am

It could be the Blue Jays or even Orioles taking the WC, with the Yankees in third. Toronto has been improving, and the Orioles are going to be more motivated under Buck, so this year it's going to be the AL Beast.

2 bp1   ~  Mar 29, 2011 10:24 am

Every time I compare Yankees and Red Sox, I keep coming away with them nearly even. Every article I read mentions the acquisition of Crawford and Gonzales, but fails to mention the loss of Beltre and Martinez. I think the Yankees have the better lineup, bench, and bullpen, and the Red Sox the better starting rotation (although not as much as reported). Could be some rose colored glasses, but it's not as cut-n-dry as ESPN would want us to believe.

Anyway - this is how I see it.

Catcher - Yankees
1st Base - push
2nd Base - Yankees
Shortstop - Yankees
Third - Yankees
Left - Red Sox
Center - push
Right - push

Bench: Yankees
Bullpen: Yankees
Closer: Yankees

#1 - CC/Lester - push
#2 - AJ/Lackey - push (both were bad last year)
#3 - Hughes/Buchholz - push
#4 - Nova/Beckett - Red Sox (based on reputation alone)
#5 - Freddie/Dice-K - Red Sox

3 Sliced Bread   ~  Mar 29, 2011 10:47 am

2) even if you give them the edge through the middle of the rotation, I think the Yanks come out on top.

4 bp1   ~  Mar 29, 2011 10:52 am

[3] Yeah, and for every question on the Yankees, there is a similar question on the Red Sox.

I think it's going to be one of those tense ultra competitive seasons that is not going to be decided until the very end. I'm looking forward to it.

5 nyydreamer   ~  Mar 29, 2011 6:12 pm

The two iffy spots in the rotation are my big concern and AJ Burnett is my second concern - hopefully, he'll be more consistent this season - the jury is still out onColon and Garcia. I think the 'debate' on Jeter is overblown - let the man play baseball and leave him alone. It'll be a tough season for all in the east division but hopefully Cashman has put together a team that pulls together.

6 Bruce Markusen   ~  Mar 29, 2011 11:21 pm

I like the decision to carry Nunez over Pena as the utility man. Nunez is the much better player, more athletic, and more versatile.

The first time that Molina comes up with men on base in the late innings of a close game, I'm going to scream. Or something. I just hope Russell Martin hits in the early going.

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