The New York Yankees have let go of their veterans and the youth movement is in full swing
By: Anthony Carbonaro
Projected Opening Day Lineup
- Brett Gardner ( LF )
- Jacoby Ellsbury ( CF )
- Gary Sanchez ( C )
- Matt Holiday ( DH )
- Greg Bird ( 1B )
- Starlin Castro ( 2B )
- Chase Headley ( 3B )
- Aaron Judge ( RF )
- Ronald Torreyes ( CF )
- Masahiro Tanaka
- CC Sabathia
- Michael Pineda
- Luis Severino
- Jordan Montgomery
Jonathan Holder / Adam Warren / Dellin Betances / Tyler Clippard / Aroldis Chapman / Chasen Shreve / Bryan Mitchell / Tommy Layne
Mark Teixeria and Alex Rodriquez retired. Other veterans such as Brian McCan and Carlos Beltran will not be on the roster for 2017.
The emergence of Gary Sanchez during the middle half of the regular season in 2016, took over the league. In his rookie year, 53 games with the Yankees, Gary Sanchez blasted 20 home runs with a 1.032 OPS. Defensively he gunned 41 percent of attempting base stealers and finished second in the American League Rookie of the Year balloting.
“I don’t feel any pressure being the guy on the field or off the field,” Sanchez said through a translator. “Last season was a good season for me, but that’s in the past now. We have to focus on the upcoming season all together as one. And hopefully we can make the playoffs.”
The 24-year-old Greg Bird is now the Yankees first basemen due to Mark Teixeria retirement. Greg Bird has been on a tear of late in spring training, hitting .444 with 7 home runs. Last year, Bird missed the 2016 season due to an tear of the right shoulder labrum.
“He’s been really good,” Girardi added. “Maybe better than what I expected knowing that he sat out a year and you worry about a guy’s timing. It hasn’t seemed to affect him.”
He is the first Yankee to hit more than six home runs for the past 11 years. Not only is Bird hitting the ball over the fence, but the young talented first baseman has the ball going everywhere in the field. 15 out of 20 hits, have been for extra bases along with him getting walked eight times.
Didi Gregorius is the starting shortstop for the 2017 Yankees, but due to the World Baseball Classic, Didi suffered a shoulder injury while playing for the Netherlands. He is estimated to miss the first month of the season. Didi was arguably the best player on the Yankees last year with his .276 BA with a .751 OPS+.
Ronald Torreyes is in favor to be the starting shortstop on opening day, due to his experience, and the Yankees sent down their best prospect Gleyber Torres to Double A-Trenton.
The Yankees ace, Masahiro Tanaka, is coming off the 2016 season where he was 14-4 with an 3.07 ERA, which was third in the American League and received some down-ballot, Cy Young votes. While being the best of the bunch, he has yet to throw 200 innings in a season with constant questions about the health of his arm.
CC Sabathia was better than expected in 2016, but he will turn 37 in July with a bad knee.
In 2016, Michael Pineda came off his worst performance suffering with an 4.82 ERA.
The Yankees rotation is the weakest part of their team, due to their performance in 2016, but they do have a strong bullpen that will help out the starters.
The New York Yankees will put runs on the board and will close out games when needed, but will the Yankees starters do their job?