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2010: An Even Better Team?

By Amanda Massa

Is it actually possible for the New York Yankees to improve, even after running away with a World Series title in the 2009 Fall Classic? Yes. In light of some recent acquisitions and signings, I believe the Yankees will be even better in 2010 than they were in 2009.

Although they just took home the most coveted prize in all of baseball, there were still a couple of gaps that needed to be filled for 2010. After relying on a three-man pitching rotation throughout the playoffs, the Yankees set their sights on a starting pitcher they could count on to give them innings and to win. Enter Javier Vazquez. The right-handed starter, who stole one second place vote for the National League Cy Young award last year, has sported pinstripes before. Vazquez wasn’t bad when he pitched for the Yankees in 2004, starting 32 games and going 14-10 with a 4.91 ERA. Of course Yankee fans can’t help but remember a little grand slam that he gave up to Johnny Damon in game 7 of the 2004 ALCS. All of that aside, the Vazquez signing is fitting for the Bombers, filling the number four spot in the starting rotation. And after securing Andy Pettitte for one more year, the Yankees rotation in 2010 theoretically will be Sabathia, Burnett, Pettitte, Vazquez, and either Hughes or Chamberlain slotted for the number 5 spot. Not too shabby.

Vazquez is not the only former Yankee re-joining the team in 2010. Nick Johnson will return to the Bronx after a seven-year hiatus. Some concerns surround the injury-prone Johnson, but his familiarity with playing under the massive spotlight that is New York baseball, his ability to get on base, and his solid batting skills are all qualities that make him a nice fit in the number two hole.

And let’s not forget about the most visible move the Yankees made this off-season: the trade made for outfielder Curtis Granderson. With the addition of Granderson, the Yankee lineup for 2010 will look something like this: Jeter, Johnson, Teixeira, Rodriguez, Posada, Cano, Granderson, Swisher, and Gardner. Granderson will be a great bat to have in the number seven spot, being that he will probably hit around .260 with at least 20 homers and 15 stolen bases. Granderson will be joined in the outfield by Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner, making the 2010 outfield more defensively sound than that of 2009. My projected makeup of the 2010 Yankee outfield will put Swisher in right, Gardner in center and Granderson in left.

Everyone knows that a team that looks good on paper will not necessarily pan out to be the best team in baseball. And there are a lot of great baseball teams out there. But, if they manage to stay away from big injuries and unforeseen circumstances this upcoming season, the Yankees will most certainly be in contention for their 28th World Championship.

2 comments:

  1. Good piece just a minor tip. You shouldnt have added But anything can happen. While its true anything can happen when I read that it made you piece weaker.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the tip! One other person also told me that they didn't like it so I am removing it now.

    ReplyDelete