By: Adam Pasternak
After an incredibly eventful offseason, Spring Training is finally here! The players have all reported to their respective Spring Training facilities and the 2016 MLB season is only a month and a half away. Over the next couple of weeks we will cover all 30 MLB teams and talk about what’s in store for the coming season. Today, we talk about the New York Yankees!
After a disappointing season (at least according to Yankee standards), GM Brian Cashman knew he had to make some moves to make his team dominant yet again. After adding Starlin Castro via trade with the Cubs, the Yankees made a risky decision and traded for star closer Aroldis Chapman, who is awaiting punishment for a domestic violence charge. With the added pieces, and hopefully a healthy roster – the Yanks will make the AL East ultra-competitive once again.
Going into this year’s spring training, there aren’t really any position battles for the Bronx Bombers. The infield will see Chase Headley and Mark Teixeira man the corners, with Didi Gregorius and Starlin Castro starting at shortstop and second base, respectively. For the third straight season, we will see Brian McCann behind the plate and Jacoby Ellsbury in centre, with Brett Gardner in left and Carlos Beltran in right. The lineup is essentially the same, except for the addition of Castro, but they have added much needed depth in the field and in their bullpen.
The signing of Aaron Hicks and the acquisition of Aroldis Chapman give the Yankees great depth both in the outfield and bullpen, respectively. Hicks, in my opinion, is a starter on a bottom 15 team in the MLB. I think due to Beltran’s age and knee troubles, we will see him sit out or DH quite often and Hicks will get his fair share of playing time. As for the bullpen, with Chapman slotted in as the new closer, they will be forced to push down Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances to 7th, and 8th inning men. It’s going to be hard to score a run, let alone get on base, against the Yankees in the last three innings of the game.
The rotation will be similar to last season’s as Joe Girardi and company are hoping that a clean bill of health will allow their rotation to succeed this season. C.C. Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka are coming off an injury plagued 2015 season, and the Yankees need them to stay healthy and focused in order to win. Behind them in the rotation will be Nathan Eovaldi, Michael Pineda and star in the making, Louis Severino. If they can stay healthy, I think the Yankee’s rotation could be one of the best overall in the AL East.
After a busy offseason, the Yankees go into Spring Training looking as good as ever. The battles between all of the AL East squads are going to be extremely entertaining, as all teams have made huge improvements over the winter. It will be interesting to see how the new additions fit in, and as well to see if Aroldis Chapman will be suspended, as Spring Training goes on.
What did you think of the Yankees offseason? Are they poised to make a run at the title, or are they destined for another mediocre season? Comment below!
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