Manager: Joe Girardi (4th season).
Projected Lineup: SS Derek Jeter (.270, 10, 67), RF Nick Swisher (.288, 29, 89), 1B Mark Teixeira (.256, 33, 108), 3B Alex Rodriguez (.270, 30, 125), 2B Robinson Cano (.319, 29, 109), DH Jorge Posada (.248, 18, 57), CF Curtis Granderson (.247, 24, 67), C Russell Martin (.248, 5, 26 with Dodgers), LF Brett Gardner (.277, 5, 47, 47 SBs).
Key Relievers: RH Mariano Rivera (3-3, 1.80, 33 saves in 38 chances), Rafael Soriano (3-2, AL-leading 45 saves in 48 chances, 1.73 with Tampa Bay), RH Joba Chamberlain (3-4, 4.40, 3 saves, 71 hits in 71 1-3 IP), RH David Robertson (4-5, 3.82), LH Pedro Feliciano (3-6, 3.30, 62 2-3 innings in majors-leading 92 games with Mets) LH Boone Logan (2-0, 2.93), RH Sergio Mitre (0-3, 3.33).
Hot Spots: Rotation, catcher, DH. After losing out on free agent Cliff Lee, Yankees brought in veterans Garcia and Bartolo Colon to compete for two open spots in the rotation _ one left by Pettitte, who retired during the offseason. Martin was signed as free agent and is coming off hip and knee injuries. Posada is making the move from catcher to DH, and time will tell how well he adjusts _ not always an easy move for guys accustomed to being on the field all the time.
Outlook: The Yankees have the offense and bullpen to again challenge for the AL East title with an improved Boston Red Sox team. With a ‘pen that includes Rivera, eighth-inning setup man Soriano, right-handers Chamberlain and Robertson, and left-handers Feliciano and Logan, New York will shorten games. A-Rod, cleared to return to his normal offseason workout program two years after right hip surgery, has looked in midseason form since the start of spring training. Teixeira, normally a slow regular-season starter, took more batting practice during the winter. Jeter, looking to rebound from last season’s drop-off at the plate, is making a mechanical adjustment and eliminating his stride. The Yankees are hoping the sometimes testy contract negotiations over the winter with Jeter are truly in the past. The Captain needs 74 hits to reach 3,000. Gardner could bat leadoff on occasion, especially against right-handers. If Burnett and the back of the rotation provide stability, the Yankees will be a legitimate threat to win their 28th World Series championship. If the starters flop, New York might have to scratch and claw just to make the playoffs.
2010: 89-73, third place.
Manager: Terry Francona (8th season).
Projected Lineup: CF Jacoby Ellsbury (.192, 0 HR, 5 RBIs, 7 SB, 18 games), 2B Dustin Pedroia (.288, 12, 41, 75 games), LF Carl Crawford (.307, 19, 90, 13 3B, 47 SB with Tampa Bay), 3B Kevin Youkilis (.307, 19, 62), 1B Adrian Gonzalez (.298, 31, 101 with San Diego), DH David Ortiz (.270, 32, 102), RF J.D. Drew (.255, 22, 68), C Jarrod Saltalamacchia (.158, 0, 1, 10 games with Boston), SS Marco Scutaro (.275, 11, 56).View Entire Story
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