2007 Team Analysis of the AL East: New York Yankees

AL East: New York Yankees CJorge Posada: incredible year for anyone, but far more impressive for a catcher his age. When will his bat fall off the charts?

1BShelley Duncan/Jason Giambi/Doug Mientkiewicz: Giambi can’t last physically at 1B anymore & Mientkiewicz can’t seem to hit anymore (he use to be a .300 hitter & is the reason why Ortiz is with the Red Sox). Bottom line, they should have played Duncan sooner! Maybe newly acquired Jason Lane wins out in 2008?

2BRobinson Cano: after a shaky first half of the year, his bat bounced back come September. Who wouldn’t like having a second baseman who hits .300 with close to 20 HRs?

3BA-Rod: He was a monster! 2007 MVP, enough said.

SSDerek Jeter: Your typical Mr. Yankee-type of year. He’s the ultimate Yankee and can back it up!

DHJason Giambi/Johnny Damon: Neither Giambi (injuries) nor Damon (body falling apart) had expected Giambi & Damon-type years, but if they both are healthy, look at their numbers to rise in 2008. Just don’t expect them to be their old selves, both are past their prime.

LFHideki Matsui/Johnny Damon: No complaints about Matsui when healthy, but will he be dealt before the start of 2008?

CFMelky Cabrera/Johnny Damon: Damon can no longer survive in CF, making way for Melky who should improve his numbers as the everyday CF in NY.

RFBobby Abreu: You’d like to see more power off his bat in 2008 than what we saw in 2007 

SPChien-Ming Wang: Not your typical # 1 starter, but he’ll do until Hughes fill his potential. Back to back 19 wins in the AL East is impressive! Most wind & lowest ERA out of any Yankee starter in 2007!

SPAndy Pettitte: Where would the 2007 Yankees have been without Andy Pettitte? Probably third place! 15 wins in 34 starts (most on the team) and even 2 innings in relief when the team REALLY needed him. Totally selfless!

SPMike Mussina: A win over .500 and an ERA over 5.00 and Moose is starting to pitch like one. The Yankees need him to get somewhat closer to form than he was in 2007 if they want to have a chance in 2008.

SPRoger Clemens: 6 wins and 6 losses in 17 starts and he can no longer blow his fastball by anyone on a consistent basis anymore. If he pitches in 2008, it will probably be at a much lower cost than in his past few years. Hank has already said that Clemens won’t be back in pinstripes in 2008, but we’ve heard that before. Let’s wait and see!

SPKei Igawa*/Philip Hughes*: Igawa was a bust, but was this just a year to get acclimated to a new culture/country? Some players need a near to just get accustomed to a new league (from AL to NL), so what’s to say that Igawa didn’t go through that in 2007? Hughes had the best WHIP out of all Yankee starters with 1.28 and went 5/3 in 13 starts with a stint on the DL in 2007. Not bad rookie! Look for more from Hughes in 2008. He’s bound to be their # 3 starter behind Wang and Pettitte in 2008!

RPLuis Vizcaino: Vizcaino went 8/2 with 15 Holds while pitching more innings than any Yankee reliever with over 75 innings in 2007.

RPScott Proctor: Proctor was a stable guy in the Yankee bullpen for Torre with the 4th best ERA out of the pen and recorded 11 Holds.

RPBrian Bruney/Ron Villone: These two men pitched well in the gap between the starters and Rivera in 2007. No bells and whistles here, just two guys that you could rely upon in 2007 and hopefully in 2008, too!

RPMike Myers: This lefty specialist posted a 2.66 ERA and was just what the doctor ordered in 2007 when called upon.

RPJoba Chamberlain*: Lights out with a 0.38 ERA with 8 Holds in 24 innings while on a strict watch that wouldn’t allow him to pitch in back to back games until the playoffs. He looked great as was reported in 2007 until he was “bugged” in Cleveland in the playoffs. The only question that remains here is: will he be a starter in 2008 or will he be the set up man for Rivera? A role that he shone in at the end of 2007!  

Set-upKyle Farnsworth: Over all, Farnsworth was a disappointment in 2007 with an ERA of 4.80, but did get 15 Holds for the Yankees in 2007 (tied with Vizcaino for the team lead). There were talks of dealing him at the deadline and this offseason. The question is if NY is too big of a stage for Farnsworth. Only time will tell, that is unless they trade him!

CloserMariano Rivera: After another rocky start of the 2007 season, Rivera once again put up 30 saves with only 4 blown and a 3.15 ERA to go with a 1.12 WHIP. When will his reign of power give way to nature? Somehow, I doubt it will be in 2008!

Down on the Farm :  

SP Ian Kennedy: Kennedy may be their # 5 starter after everything is said and done! They wouldn’t include both him and Hughes in any Santana talks. He’s the only prospect, aside from Shelley Duncan, whom I see making any type of contribution to the 2008 Yankees team. 

Needs :  

·         A steady first baseman who is not a risk in the field and can hit better than Mientkiewicz.·         Another quality starter or the return to form of Mussina

·         If Joba is taken out of his role as a set-up man for Rivera, that is a whole they’d need to fill because Farnsworth simply doesn’t fit that role in NY.

·         One or two more “reliable” arms to get from the starters to Rivera. You can never have too many arms!!·         The rest, if any, depends on if they make any moves before the season begins. For example: trading for Santana; trading Matsui, etc.

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