Tuesday, March 29, 2011

2011 Yankees rounding into shape

The Opening Day roster for the New York Yankees is rounding into shape and it’s not looking half bad.

Take the starting rotation for example. Ivan Nova took hold of the #4 spot for the Yankees with a solid spring while Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon both pitched pretty well and, most importantly, managed to stay healthy. Can any of them step into Andy Pettitte’s large shoes? We’ll see, but I’m more optimistic that they can keep the back end of the rotation together than I was heading into spring training.

The most disappointing aspect of the formation of the Yankees roster is probably the failure of either of the Yankees lauded catching prospects to earn the back-up job. It’s probably better that Jesus Montero and Austin Romine go down to the minor leagues to play every day, but their lackluster play this spring makes me wonder if the Yankees are inflating the value of their prospects again.

The most critical thing is that all the major players on the Yankees survived spring training without suffering a major injury, unlike the Philadelphia Phillies’ Chase Utley. Francisco Cervelli suffered the worst injury, but it looks like he could be back around May 1 and the Yankees can survive a month without him. Pedro Feliciano will also start the year on the disabled list, but I can’t say I’m surprised given how the Metsies have worn him out over the last few years. Curtis Granderson was touch and go there for a while, but it looks like he will be able to make the Opening Day lineup after all.

So the Yankees will start 2011 relatively healthy with a solid roster, which bodes well for their ability to get off to a good start.

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