Friday, April 5, 2013

The Yankees Can Get Young Soon

This sign may or not be outside of Yankee Stadium.

A lot has been said about the Yankees and being old. I can't disagree with that assessment for 2013, as they are the oldest team in baseball, however I thought about it and in the near future the words "Yankees" and "old" will no longer go together.

Looking at the pitching staff, Hiroki Kuroda (38), Andy Pettitte (40), and Mariano Rivera (43) are, or could very well be, in their last season in pinstripes. As for Yankee batters, you have Travis Hafner (35) in his one and only year under contact, and Ichiro Suzuki (39) possibly being in his final year as a starter (he should be in his final year period, but I digress). Although he's not "old", Curtis Granderson (32) is older than the team's average age of 31, and he probably won't be back in New York after this season.

So I could have looked at next year to show the team is getting younger. However, I decided to look at 2015 to see how much younger the team could be in only two more years. At which time we can finally move past everybody calling out the Yankees for being too old.

To start, here is the current roster of regulars, and their ages, assuming everybody were healthy...

SP1 - CC Sabathia 32
SP2 - Hiroki Kuroda 38
SP3 - Andy Pettitte 40
SP4 - Phil Hughes 26
SP5 - Ivan Nova 26
CL - Mariano Rivera 43
SU - David Robertson 27

C - Francisco Cervelli 27
1B - Mark Teixeira 32
2B - Robinson Cano 30
3B - Alex Rodriguez 37
SS - Derek Jeter 38
LF - Brett Gardner 29
CF - Curtis Granderson 32
RF - Ichiro Suzuki 39
DH - Travis Hafner 35

Average Age: 33.1875

That's a lot of prostate exams.

Now here is what the roster of regulars could look like in 2015...

SP1 - CC Sabathia 32
SP2 - Michael Pineda 24
SP3 - Phil Hughes 26
SP4 - Ivan Nova 26
SP5 - David Phelps 28
CL - David Robertson 27
SU - Joba Chamberlain 27

C - Francisco Cervelli 29
1B - Mark Teixeira 34
2B - Robinson Cano 32
3B - ??? 32 (a guess, based on the Yankees having no good 3B prospects and the average age of free agents)
SS - Eduardo Nunez 27
LF - Brett Gardner 31
CF - Mason Williams 23
RF - Tyler Austin 23
DH - Alex Rodriguez 39

Average Age: 28.75

I wanted to repeat and emphasize the word "could" here. We don't know how well Michael Pineda is going to recover from his shoulder injury, we don't know if Ivan Nova is going to bounce back and be a viable starter, we don't know if David Phelps is going to continue to develop, we don't know about our outfield prospects' futures, nor do we know who could be the team's third baseman in 2015. And those aren't the only questions here. All I wanted to do was show that there's a good possibility that the team could shed the "old" criticism.

So the next time you come across somebody saying "the Yankees are old", just smile and say "yep" while knowing that things could change very soon, and those people criticizing the Yankees for their age will have to think of some other way to hate.

"Oh, I'll find something."

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)