Monday, March 26, 2012

2012 MLB Preview: New York Yankees

The New York Yankees might be the most successful franchise in all of sports. However, they are coming off of a season where they were bounced by Detroit in the Division Series. The Yankees seemed to be short on pitching depth, and fortified their rotation by acquiring Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda. The lineup is just as formidable as ever, with All-Stars sprinkled all over the lineup. The Yankees should have no problems scoring runs, especially if they can get a bounce-back year from Alex Rodriguez. Curtis Granderson swatted 41 HR's last year, and hits second. The team added Raul Ibanez, and he and Andruw Jones will likely platoon at DH. Here is what the Yankees lineup should look like:

SS: Derek Jeter
CF: Curtis Granderson
2B: Robinson Cano
3B: Alex Rodriguez
1B: Mark Teixeira
RF: Nick Swisher
DH: Raul Ibanez/Andruw Jones
C: Russell Martin
LF: Brett Gardner

The Yankees did a good job acquiring pitching in the offseason. Instead of reaching for free agents like C.J. Wilson and Mark Buehrle, the team traded for Pineda, and signed Kuroda to a reasonable contract. Phil Hughes also seems healthy, and would give them a solid #5 starter. The team still has Freddy Garcia, who will open the season in the bullpen.

The pen is still led by the ageless Mariano Rivera. David Robertson and Rafael Soriano will be the main set-up guys for the Yanks. Here is my projected rotation.

SP: C.C. Sabathia
SP: Hiroki Kuroda
SP: Michael Pineda
SP: Ivan Nova
SP: Phil Hughes/Freddy Garcia

Overall, I believe this is the best team in the American League. The lineup could have 7 guys who hit 20 HR's, and the team does have the prospects to pull off a blockbuster trade, if they need another arm. The Yankees are a legitimate title contender.

My prediction: 102-60, 1st in AL East.

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