Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The 2013 Yankees, the 2014 Team in New York, the 2015 Edition and Déjà vu

When the Yankees woke up this morning they were in a familiar place this early in the season, first place. The Yankees have reached first place in each of the last two seasons before the injury bug, the Father Time bug and the general sample size bug struck the team and left them out of the playoffs. If you asked me this a week ago my answer would be 100% different but if you’re asking me today I may have to admit that I see more than a few differences between the 2013 Yankees, the 2014 Yankees and this year’s edition of the New York Yankees.

Each of the team started rather slow before making early run before the calendar turned to June including a stop in first place. Each team also reached first place right around the time the injury bug began to hit the team. Already the team has lost Masahiro Tanaka, Chris Capuano, Ivan Nova, Chase Whitley, Brendan Ryan, Gregorio Petit, Jose Pirela and others for various lengths of time due to various injuries and we’re barely halfway through May. Whether Tanaka’s elbow holds up or Michael Pineda’s shoulder is healthy or CC Sabathia’s rubber band that is holding his knee together will hold up all season long remains to be seen but if these players cannot stay healthy all season long the Yankees will not go far, bottom line.

Father time also began to creep up to the Yankees aging players as the likes of Carlos Beltran continue to struggle like Alfonso Soriano in 2014 and Vernon Wells before him. Players like Brian McCann continue to hit far less then what their baseball cards show while the shift continues to eat up Mark Teixeira for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Instead of Robinson Cano in 2013 the team dealt with Brian Roberts struggling in 2014 and Stephen Drew from July 31st, 2014 to present who is starting a campaign to change the Mendoza Line of .200 to the Drew Line at .165.

The common denominator here, besides the fact that the team is aging, struggling to hit with runners in scoring position and susceptible to injury is the fact that the team almost exclusively refuses to rely on prospects in any major position or situation. The team could have had nine young options at second base this offseason and still would have signed Drew while Capuano continues to block the ways of Bryan Mitchell, Luis Severino and others. If the team does not learn from their past they are doomed to repeat it in their future and their future may include another missed postseason in 2015. 

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