Tuesday, February 13, 2018

My Thoughts on Pitchers & Catchers Day 2018



Good afternoon Yankees family, and a big welcome back to Major League Baseball. I missed you all. Today pitchers and catchers reported to George M. Steinbrenner Field and to spring training camps all across the south as baseball officially returned to us all today, and not a moment too soon. What a winter, huh? While the winter looked like it could be a fun one at first with the acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton the market has seemingly come to a screeching halt leaving many big-name free agents still without a job as spring camps open up today. Who would have thought on February 13th that JD Martinez, Jake Arrieta and Eric Hosmer would still be looking for work? Who would have thought that Mike Moustakas would be without a hot corner to man at this point in the winter? If anyone raises their hand to either of these questions I would have zero issue with questioning your honesty and credibility as a person. It has been a weird offseason, and I hope it doesn’t lead to that “S” word that everyone has been throwing around lately.

While many Yankees fans clamored for the addition of a starting pitcher before the season I have to say that I am happy with the current state of the Yankees starting rotation. Last season the Yankees had a wonderful staff that not only kept the team in a lot of ball games but won a lot of ball games for them as well. This team was one win away from the 2017 World Series with a down season by Masahiro Tanaka, a rookie starter in Jordan Montgomery pitching for the entire season without his best pitch and with an ace from the Oakland Athletics for half a season that couldn’t buy run support if he had all the money in the world. All three of these scenarios should at the very minimum remain the same, if not improve here in 2018. Could Luis Severino take a step back? Sure. Could CC Sabathia finally let father time catch up to him? Also, sure. The thing about this team is that they have the replacements and the ammo to acquire the replacements they need to make a deep run into the 2018 postseason and beyond. The pitching is the least of my worries, especially considering the strength and depth of the Yankees bullpen.

The Yankees bullpen, at least on paper, is possibly the deepest and best bullpens in all of Major League Baseball history. Write that down, because I mean it. Relief pitching can be suspect from year-to-year with the exception of closers, who seemingly always remain consistent, which is why I feel confident that the Yankees bullpen can live up to the back of their baseball cards once again in 2018. Aroldis Chapman is the team’s closer and behind him is a slew of other former closers or pitchers with at least some closing experience including Adam Warren, David Robertson, Dellin Betances, Chad Green and Tommy Kahnle. The bullpen will be able to take four-to-five innings a night a few times a week and completely shut down games when the starters aren’t at their best, a luxury that a lot of other teams simply don’t have.

The offense will be stellar and powerful, especially with full and healthy seasons from Greg Bird and company. This is why I don’t worry about the lack of experience the team currently employs at second and third base. The team has the pieces in place both offensively and defensively to live with and be patient with the growing pains of having a rookie on your team. No pressure Gleyber (eventually) and no pressure Miguel Andujar, we got this.

I have high hopes for this team, I really do. I am generally always optimistic around this time of the year, even when projections and the articles of “experts” tell me I shouldn’t be. Remember, I had the Yankees making the postseason as a Wild Card team last year when many did not, so ride this wave with me and let’s take home this World Series Championship once and for all. Who is with me? Go Yankees!!!

6 comments:

  1. Well, I for one had this team as a maybe for a play off spot and not going very deep into the playoffs if they did make it!
    Many good things had to happen, and did, for the team to go as far as they did last year. The only thing I see that can hurt the Yankees this year is....themselves.
    But, I do worry about the team depending on the HR ball to much, maybe it's because I like a better balance to my team.
    (28 in 18)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Daniel, did you read what P.J.Pilittere said about his approach to hitting?
    He has the same thoughts as I have said many times here on this blog; "Lower half balance" is the key to good hitting, of course, it also holds true for pitchers also.
    "As the legs go, so does the player" which is a quote told to me by a Yankee player back in the days of "The Kitchen Trash" and My Mom.
    Everyone has repeated it for ever and ever, long before my time...but who was the first?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't Mr. Reed, but I will go google it now. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. And yes, I couldn't agree more. See Mickey Mantle, once the knees go... it's a downward spiral after that.

      Delete
    2. You done, done it now Daniel!
      Mickeys knees went, back in 1956! He had some great years after that.
      Did you know, the Doctor that did the work on Mickey after he died said Mickey had a 1/2 tare in his ACL from back in 1954, the funny thing is he was still the fastest guy from home to 1st base.

      Delete
    3. He did, I said it was a downward spiral. Mickey was clearly the exception to that, but imagine what could have been had his knees not been such an issue. He may have hit 70 in 1961 for all we know.

      Delete
    4. Maybe, but he had that shot in his hip that got infected he was in the hospital that last few weeks(+/-).

      Guys such as Mickey and A-Rod have had the blessing of the Baseball gods...one mistreated his body and the other thought he needed help to be the player he already was.

      Delete