February 8, 2014

A nice primer for Yankees spring training

Yankees beat writer Mark Feinsand for the New York Daily News put together a good preview for spring training. Go give it a read.

As Feinsand writes, the Yankees' chances success in 2014 really boils down to five key questions. See my takes below:

1. Are the old guys finally healthy?

I'm really having trouble wrapping my mind around Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter playing 130+ games at first and short this season. Not with Teixeira's wrist supposedly still hurting. Not with Jeter hobbling back and forth at 40 years old (June 26). The role players who will be spelling them (TBD) need to be ready to step up.

2. How will the new guys fit in?

No pressure, Masahiro Tanaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran. The last big quartet that the Yankees hired in one offseason (CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Mark Teixeira, Nick Swisher) brought the Yankees a championship.

3. Will Tanaka have trouble adjusting?

Having a $155 million questionable No. 3 starter who's got all sorts of adjustments to make is pretty cringeworthy. And so is this video. 

4. What will life after Mariano be like?

Again, no pressure, David Robertson. Try not to think about the fact that you are replacing not only one of the great Yankees of all-time, but the best closer baseball has ever seen. And who's Robertson's replacement? Shawn Kelley? Oh boy.

5. Is Michael Pineda ready to contribute?

The good news here is that the guy the Yankees traded for Pineda, Jesus Montero, didn't turn into some All-Star catcher in Seattle – at least not yet. After a decent 2012 season, Montero didn't make it through 2013 with the Mariners and spent time in Triple-A ball. So, if Pineda makes any contributions to the Yankees it's a bonus. He'll vie for the No. 5 starter role with David Phelps, Vidal Nuno and Adam Warren.


Certainly, there's a lot to watch for in the coming weeks, starting with Tanaka's expected arrival in Tampa on Friday(!). The rest of the players are expected to join pitchers and catchers on Feb. 19.

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