With pitchers and catchers reported to sprint training on February 13. It is going to be a change of atmosphere among the Yankee players. For the first time there are going to be new faces on the field. Last season Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira have declared an end to their careers. Carlos Beltran signed with the Astros. There has been a face remodel for 2017. Now the Yankees are looking to start a new age of athletes by promoting their youngsters.
Yankees Projected Line-up 2017:
- Brett Gardner (LF): Gardner is the best option for the Yankees because he is the only member to average more than four pitches at bat. Plus he is a threat on the bases.
- Didi Gregorius (SS): Averaging .276 during the 2016 season he led the team with the most contact hitter. Also, having Gary Sanchez behind him can help him see better pitch options.
- Gary Sanchez (C): With an amazing performance last year with 20HR in 53 games he is the biggest threat for the Yankees. So it is an easy to fill in this spot with Sanchez.
- Matt Holliday (DH): Signing a one year- $13 million with the Yankees. He is most likely filling in the retired A-Rod spot. The 37-year old veteran will be kept under the eyes of the team in hopes of a healthy and productive year.
- Greg Bird (1B): Called up in 2015, he was unbelievable growing the love of the fans. Suffering an injury in 2016 limited his playing time. He will be competing with Tyler Austin another rookie who will be fighting for first base.
- Starling Castro (2B): Acquired from the Cubs in the off-season of 2015. He has been a productive at bat with a great defensive side.
- Chase Headley (3B): Headley has not had a productive two seasons in pinstripes. However, the 32-year old veteran will share playing time with Ronald Torreyes.
- Aaron Judge (RF): Strikeout-prone, he struck out 42 of his 84 at bats. The team has said to have confidence in the young right fielder. With a stricter plate appearance, he can be a threat with his fellow power hitters.
- Jacoby Ellsbury (CF): There is still four years left on his contract with the Yankees owing him about $109 million dollars. His declining batting average has concerned the Yankees.
The Yankees still have a handful to deal with. With a new team and a new mission they must stay focus on the task. Which is to go out and win games while staying healthy. Throughout the past few years they have suffered many injuries that limited the potential of the team. However, the team will be full of young talent trying to prove themselves, which can be a turn around.
Yankees Projected Pitching Rotation:
- Masahiro Tanaka
- Michael Pineada
- CC Sabathia
- Chad Green
- Bryan Mitchell, Adam Warren, Luis Cessa???
The Yankees did not acquire any pitching this off-season. Instead they are sticking to who they have and the potential of rising stars. Bringing back Aroldis Chapman into the bullpen, they secured the closer spot. Pitching in the triple digits he is a lights out arm in the 9th. With Dellin Betances in the 8th and Aroldis Chapman in the 9th, the Yankees have closed the gap of bullpen help. Especially since Betances late last season can be seen to be fatigued.
Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher are to serve as Yankees’ guest instructors. A-Rod declaring a surprising early retirement, announced his last year he would be serving as a special advisor for the Yankees. Now these two can bring a great amount to the table. From A-Rod’s love and knowledge for the game and Swisher’s creativity and unique approach to the game can bring insight for these new players.
Joe Girardi shares his opinion on the club’s chances this year as he comes to his final year in his contract.
According to Girardi, “I am optimistic about this season because I think that’s there’s a lot of talent in that room.”
Girardi has always put his confidence into the team. With the rising of the young stars he believes that this year can be full of surprises. With A-Rod being a special advisor we may see new techniques implemented into new players.
Tyler Austin suffered a foot fracture and is going to be out for about six weeks. He sustained the injury from a foul he hit off his foot during batting practice. While he is competing with Greg Bird for the first baseman slot, this may minimize the chances of securing his spot. Yet, he may have a chance to see some playing time during the season.
So for the first week in spring training it has been a change in environment. We are not used to seeing the Yankees full of rookies. Big names like A-Rod, Mark Teixiera, and Carlos Beltran will no longer be taking batting practice. Now its time for the new age athletes to prove to there worth and bring a championship back to New York. With hope in a winning season, we shall see what is to come as spring training progresses.