For some of us, Tuesday’s reporting date for Yankees pitchers and catchers signals the start of the new year. Others, front office included, see this as the beginning of a new era. With young prospects competing for several jobs, they certainly have the evidence to back that up.
Yankees spring training is different than years past. Where veterans once had jobs all but locked up before reaching Tampa, this time there is open competition all over the diamond. There is competition in right field, first base, and even the starting rotation. Perhaps even a bullpen spot or two.
It’s all very exciting. The start of spring training brings new optimism to the upcoming year. Anything could happen from this point on. Whether one of the rookies impresses enough to win a starting job, or one of the veterans returns to form, it remains to be seen. At this point, nothing has gone wrong. Until something does, it’s best to dream of what good may transpire.
For now, we can imagine that Aaron Judge has cut down on strikeouts. We can imagine Luis Severino returning to his 2015 self. Ditto for Greg Bird who missed all of the last year with a shoulder injury. Even thinking that the designated hitter/first baseman logjam could work in the Yankees favor isn’t that far fetched. At least it doesn’t seem so now.
For Yankees Fans, These Are The Times You Cherish
See, the great thing about now is that nobody has disappointed yet. There hasn’t even been an injury to worry about. The ceiling on these prospects is relatively high. Even a bad spring for a prospect isn’t enough to cause to worry. Just look at how Gary Sanchez did last spring.
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These are the times you cherish. There hasn’t been this much young talent in camp for the Yankees in a long, long time. While you always want to be cautious when you hear the word “potential,” you also have to be excited at some players who have it. This isn’t just a select few; this is a farm system packed with talented players.
So the Yankees are in Tampa, where several players have arrived early. Even they can’t seem to shake their excitement. The upcoming season is still a month and a half away, but now is the time for several to make an impression. It seems as if that goes for veterans as well as prospects.
Matt Holliday states he’s in the best shape of his career. C.C. Sabathia claims that his knee feels great, and so does his arm. Jacoby Ellsbury has reportedly fixed a glitch in his swing. Whether these reports translate to success, remains to be seen. But for now, it’s at least a positive vibe going into spring training.
A positive vibe is all we have to go on for now. After waiting for Tuesday’s reporting date all winter long, we can finally relax knowing the Yankees are starting up again. Where they end up is anyone’s guess, but this time of year, the sky is the limit. Dream on, Yankee fans.