The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Fewer missing pieces than you might expect

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Dec 24, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

On the day Cliff Lee signed with Philadelphia, Brian Cashman said this:

“We have a championship caliber team. There are areas that could be improved upon. There are players in this marketplace currently that could assist there, but will we solve all the problems that we have right now? I don’t want to mislead people and say, ‘Yeah, we’ll take care of that right now this winter.’ It doesn’t have to happen in the winter time. We have up through the summer to get everything we need necessarily fixed.”

Those words didn’t carry much weight because the Yankees seemed to have too many holes to ignore. But then again, consider the 2010 Opening Day roster. Aside from Andy Pettitte, the changes from then to now haven’t been especially significant, and most should be considered addition by subtraction. The roster concerns seem to have more to do with performance than personnel.

ALCS Rangers Yankees BaseballLineup
Derek Jeter SS
Still with the team. This time he’s coming off the worst season of his career, not a near MVP season.

Nick Johnson DH
Gone. He had 12 hits last year.

Mark Teixeira 1B
Still with the team. A model of consistency the previous six years, last season he slugged below .500 for the first time since he was a rookie.

Alex Rodriguez 3B
Still with the team. Had 125 RBI in a down year.

Robinson Cano 2B
Still with the team. Emerged as one of the game’s elite players.

Jorge Posada C
Still with the team. Nagging injuries took their toll last season. This time he’ll be the primary designated hitter.

Curtis Granderson CF
Still with the team. Made significant improvements down the stretch last season.

Nick Swisher RF
Still with the team. Finally had an all-star season and moved up from the No. 8 hole.

Brett Gardner LF
Still with the team. A complete unknown at this time last year.

ALCS Rangers Yankees BaseballBench
Francisco Cervelli C
Still with the team. Likely to return to the exact same role as last season.

Ramiro Pena INF
Still with the team. Could return to the utility role. Could be replaced by Eduardo Nunez or an outside candidate.

Marcus Thames OF
Gone. Wasn’t with the Yankees at this time last year. Didn’t sign until just before spring training.

Randy Winn OF
Gone. Also wasn’t with the team at this time last year. Brian Cashman tried to buy low, but Winn made 16 starts before being designated for assignment.

ALCS Rangers Yankees BaseballRotation
CC Sabathia LHP
Still with the team.
Still at the top of the rotation. Still a Cy Young candidate.

A.J. Burnett RHP
Still with the team. Frankly, it’s hard to imagine he could be any worse than he was last season.

Andy Pettitte LHP
Unknown. While he’s considering retirement, he’s also considered the rotation’s most significant missing piece. Injury limited him to 21 starts last season.

Javier Vazquez RHP
Gone. Last winter’s big rotation addition managed 26 largely forgettable starts.

Phil Hughes RHP
Still with the team. And this time he doesn’t have to fight for a spot in spring training.

ALCS Yankees Rangers Baseball

Bullpen
Mariano Rivera RHP
Still with the team. Same as always. Age would be a factor if he were anyone but Mo.

Joba Chamberlain RHP
Still with the team. Not fighting for a rotation spot this time.

Dave Robertson RHP
Still with the team. Had a 2.27 ERA and held opponents to a .207 batting average in the second half last season.

Damaso Marte LHP
Injured. Likely to miss all season. Essentially replaced by Pedro Feleciano.

Chan Ho Park RHP
Gone. Wasn’t with the team at this time last year. Allowed one more hit than Rivera, despite pitching fewer than half of the games.

Alfredo Aceves RHP
Gone. Non-tendered after missing almost all year with a back injury. Pitched in 10 games last season.

Sergio Mitre RHP
Still with the team.
Actually coming off a pretty solid season, in a much better spot than at this time last year.

Associated Press photos of Jeter, Cervelli, Sabathia and Rivera

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