It’s New Year’s Day, which means it’s time for resolutions.
Here are 10 New Year’s resolutions that the Yankees might take into next season.
Curtis Granderson – See it, hit it
Granderson’s first half put him in the All-Star Game last year. His second half raised significant questions about whether he would be productive enough to start in the playoffs. The power was still there in the second half, but his strikeout rate when up, his walk rate went down and his batting average on balls in play went way down. An overly simplistic way to fix it: Recognize good pitches, and hit them hard.
Eduardo Nunez — Nothing to lose
The tools are there, but Nunez’s inability to do the simple things has left him on the outside looking in. He should have a big league spot locked up by now. Instead, he’s been all but dismissed. Nunez comes into this spring training with nothing to lose. In so many ways, the pressure is off and he has to play that way. Might simplify things enough for him to actually do what he wants to do.
Phil Hughes — Take the next step
Last year’s second half must have proven something. It must have proven something to the Yankees and to Hughes, who showed he could make some adjustments and become a reliable starter. It was enough to put him in line to be the Yankees fourth starter this year. What’s next is to prove he can be more like a No. 2 or 3, and that he should be paid that way when he contract is up at the end of the year.
Austin Romine — Take advantage
The Yankees are willing to stay in-house at catcher, which means has a legitimate chance to claim the big league job and prove he can keep it for several years.
Kevin Youkilis — Make them cheer
For a long time nemesis coming from Boston to New York, things could get out of hand quickly. Yankee Stadium isn’t likely to have much patience if Youkilis repeats his early 2012 performance. Making the crowd cheer isn’t about ego for Youkilis, it’s about giving Yankees fans a reason to like him, which means producing on the field.
Dave Robertson – Set himself apart
Rafael Soriano isn’t around any more. But Joba Chamberlain and David Aardsma are, and Mark Montgomery is rising quickly through the minors. With Rivera likely playing his last season, Robertson can look to set himself apart as the only choice for the eighth inning and the next in line for the ninth.
Ivan Nova — Don’t let go
Four starters are locked in place, and Nova isn’t one of them. Last season, David Phelps asserted himself while Nova stumbled. Now that fifth starter job is up for grabs, and even if the Yankees add a cheap, veteran starter to the competition, Nova has to believe that’s his spot to lose.
David Adams — Make it obvious
This goes for any number of guys — Corban Joseph, Ronnier Mustelier, Melky Mesa, Zoilo Almonte — who are likely heading for Triple-A: They know the Yankees want to cut payroll and want to find cheap big league options. It’s up to them to produce this season so that, when a roster spots opens, the Yankees have little choice but to call-up from within rather than go shopping for more experienced veterans. Can’t let guys like Jayson Nix, Dewayne Wise or Steve Pearce ever enter the conversation.
Mariano Rivera — Same as always
Aside from getting healthy and staying healthy, what would Rivera possibly want to change? Best he could do in 2013 is simply be himself.
Brian Cashman — Make it work
We all know the objective: Keep winning with the roster current limitations and next year’s financial restrictions. It’s up to Cashman to find a way to make it work. Maybe that means sticking with his current plan. Maybe that means making a mid-season adjustment. Maybe that means some drastic, creative and unusual. Whatever it takes, it has to work.
Associated Press photos