Should New York Yankees Fans Be Nervous?

There’s been a lot happening in Yankeeland recently. Every day the injuries seem to be mounting for the Bronx Bombers- Mark Teixeira, and Curtis Granderson are both out for the next eight to ten weeks, while Alex Rodriguez may be lost through the All-Star Break. David Robertson had some shoulder issues in his attempt to warm up out of the bullpen the other day. Clay Rapada and Boone Logan, the only two lefties from last season, are on the shelf indefinitely with inflammation. Meanwhile, it cannot be forgotten that Phil Hughes is nursing a bulging back disk, while CC Sabathia and Mariano Rivera are coming off surgeries from last season. And, last but not least, Derek Jeter is taking the field after recovering from a broken ankle suffered last post season. All these injuries will test the Yankees dept in a division that has gotten increasingly stronger. So the question is, Yankees fans: are you nervous yet?

A lot can be said about the fact that the baseball season is 162 games long, and that what happens in April will not necessarily impact what happens in September- remember the free-fall of the Red Sox and Braves in 2011? Further, the good news is that the players lost will miss the early months, giving the Yankees plenty of time to regain some ground, especially if they can tread water and hold their own over the course of five weeks of the actual season that will be lost to the injured players.

 

Are the Yankees in trouble? (Image: Kim Klement, US Presswire)

But it is also worth noting that the American League East is a lot tougher. Granted, successful seasons are not earned by winning the off-season signing war. However, the Jays have restocked with the additions of Jose Reyes and R.A. Dickey, to name a few. The Red Sox have the pockets to continue to be a strength- particularly by shedding Josh Beckett and the return of John Lackey, ironically- but the injury bug could be a factor. The Rays are always pesky, especially with an added offensive power out of Wil Meyers, and a healthy Evan Longoria. The Orioles may have taken a step backwards from last year, but the division continues to be tough. While it is absurd to call a team with over $200 million dollars in payroll an “underdog,” the Yankees might be the closest thing to it that they have been in a long time, and are certainly not the favorites in the division, not by a long-shot.

 

A lot of the Yankees success this season is predicated on the ability of the Yankees to tread water over the first couple weeks of the season while Teixeira and Granderson are on the DL. Their depth will be tested, particularly in areas where this is not significant depth; for instance, Mark Teixeira’s DL stint will force Kevin Youkilis, already a fill-in for ARod, to move over to first, leaving another vacuum at third. Granderson can be supplanted by Brett Gardner, but who will take care of left field? And what if Derek Jeter has residual damages from his injury? Who else can fill in for Boone Logan, who pitched in a career-high in games last season and was fantastic out of the bullpen?

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that the Yankees are doomed for failure. But I am saying that they may be in trouble. The issue is not an inability to spend, but the lack of available players amenable to a one-year deal with the goal of getting under the $189 million mark next year. And the issue of depth, to that end, does not impact the Yankees from the stand point of not spending money, but rather allocation of the money.

Moreover, it is bad luck that these injuries occurred this year all together, yes. But it may also give a glimmer into the future, as well, when Rivera retires in 2014; when Logan may be as well if he is due a significant raise; when Granderson’s contract will likely cause him to leave the Bronx; when the same might be said of Robinson Cano. And all that will be left is a still-aging team, now one year older. One year further removed from peak performance. And all without the benefit of spending anything and everything due to a self-imposed cap.

 

All is not lost. I don’t think that the Yankees will fall off the face of the earth this year, and they will certainly have as good a shot as any to make the playoffs, particularly with the additional Wild Card, as the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants have shown us the last two years. It isn’t this year that Yankees fans should be panicked about- but the future, that is an entirely different story.

Topics: New York Yankees

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  • Bill B

    Stop stop being so negative. I do appreciate your conclusion yet really. Tex will be back and so will Grandee, Relax. 95 wins remember that. I do appreciate your work but be positive like the writers of the past. No need to to be so macabre. They will be fine just watch. I keep telling all of your staff. You need more positive writers. Quit the gotcha nonsense. Come on I have read your other pieces. You are better than this genre.

    • Jimmy Kraft

      Again Bill, I don’t get why you think we have to write a certain way. People can have different points of view. It’s not like some of us here think the Yankees will lose 95 games and be a disgrace, but they aren’t the team they were last season with all that firepower. Honestly, they are vulnerable right now with many holes to fill. I’m sorry, you don’t got into a season with a ton of question marks and think they are the best team ever.

      Last year at this time the biggest news was how Pineda was out for the year, before that however, Pettitte said he was coming back. Who knows how he was going to pitch, but he was most likely better than what was being offered on the market at the time. Going into the season with Sabathia, Kuroda, Hughes, Garcia, and later, Pettitte, was good enough and it worked great.

      As for the bats in 2012, nothing changed all that much. A-Rod was coming off surgery, but everything else was business as usual. Fast forward to this year, there’s a ton of change and most of it didn’t make the team better, and in some cases it made it worse (Martin signing with Pirates).

      I apologize that you don’t like how concerned some of us are about our favorite team, but we are still fans and we still want them to succeed. We are just nervous with all the change.

    • Alex Pugliese

      Hi, Bill. I have to disagree- there are a lot of players who contributed offensively who have left that accounted for many of those 95 wins, and today we find out that Teixeira’s injury may be more serious that previously thought and keep him out longer than expected. It would be a pretty boring site if we all saw sunshine and rainbows all the time, even if we here a YGY would be thrilled to win 110 games every year and win a ring, but that isn’t realistic, either. I always try to look at all the angles and comb through everything, just to be as thorough as possible. The possibility always remains that the Yankees could stumble, and it is only fair we look at that scenario as well. As always, thanks for reading.

  • http://twitter.com/Jimia7 James Antonicello

    Blah, Blah, Blah. I am getting so tired of these doom and gloom scenarios!!!! Have ever of trades, farm systems, surprise years from players? What about the pitching which is strong top to bottom? What about some very franchise players still with the team? There are no guarantee’s with any player! Hamilton can have an awful year in LA. Look at Albert Puljos last year. I have a suggestion. Why don’t you start writing about the Mets!

    • Jimmy Kraft

      So apparently just because you show concern for your team of choice, you can’t have an “concerned” opinion of them? It’s funny that for just as much doom and gloom out there, there are people who refuse to take off their rose-colored shades. The Yankees are not in a good position right now, half their infield from 2012 is either injured or gone through FA. Meanwhile, they lost power and a good OBP guy in the OF. Sorry fella, but Ichiro and Youk do not make up for the lack of production with these guys out of the lineup, I don’t care how you slice it.

      Also, franchise players? Who? Cano? Because he’s the only player right now I would build my franchise around. Everyone else is either too old (Jeter, Ichiro, Pettitte, Mo, Youkilis) or just not good enough to be franchise players (Hughes, Gardner, Nova, Phelps).

      I think you are too stuck on the name recognition rather than what they really are: aging players who are declining in the production department. That’s not to say they can’t have a great season in 2013, but the odds of that aren’t in their favor, as more than 100 years of baseball as shown us.

      I seriously want whatever you’re having that makes you so optimistic about the Yankees right now. They have a great pitching staff from top to bottom, which will definitely win them some games, but their bats are suspect right now. You’re damn right I’m nervous about them this year. I still think they have the firepower to win the division and make the playoffs, but I’m NOT AS SURE as I was in 2012. They lost a ton of production and didn’t replace it all that well.

      Sorry for bursting your bubble, but please don’t come on here suggesting one of our writers go write for the Mets, that’s really asinine on your part. If you don’t like the opinion, then move on, no one is handcuffing you here to read it. We appreciate thoughtful banter and don’t take kindly to people telling us who and what we should write for.

    • Alex Pugliese

      Hi James. I would agree with you, but: the Yankees don’t have a whole lot of pieces that are available for trades in light of the need for offense, and the lack of rotational depth outside of the 5 starters and Phelps; the most highly thought of players in the farm system are nowhere near ready for the Bronx; all of the injuries and a tough division, regardless of the off-season moves by Toronto and Tampa. Even though we have a difference of opinion, thanks for reading.

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