Yanks 2016 Fate Is Up In The Air Along With Expectations

One of the best times of the year is upon us, Opening Day! It's been a long and relatively quiet winter for the New York Yankees. That can be seen as a blessing or a curse depending on who you ask. No major free agent additions as we've seen in years past but some notable trades made the team stronger. Again, depending on who you ask, the additions of Starlin Castro from the Cubs and Aroldis Chapman from the Reds can be seen as a negative.
I expect the same sort of reaction when trying to predict what the Yankees will give us in 2016. They can be really really good or really really bad. Personally, I don't know what to expect. I can see it be as good as the first four months of the 2015 season where they were cruising to an 7 game lead on the July 31 trade deadline or I can see the lifeless group that gave up the last two months. Many analysts and experts are saying much of the same.


The Good:


Everyone plays to the back of their baseball cards. Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner get on base, steal the next and score a batter or two later. Mark Teixeira continues from where he left off in midst of a MVP caliber season. Alex Rodriguez proves that last season was no fluke and he can hit another 30 Home Runs and drive in 90-100 RBIs. Carlos Beltran provides the clutch hitting and productivity he was carrying the Yankees with in August and September. Brian McCann continues to be one of the best hitting catchers in the game. After a shaky first season in pinstripes, he rebounded well for '15 and was consistent threat in the middle of the lineup. Something that will be asked of him once again in '16. Chase Headley figures out what went wrong last year and does the exact opposite. His defense was the real eye opener last season, by far the worst of his career. Better defense should be on the menu, with that better approaches to the plate in the batters box and better results. Starlin Castro is the stud the Yankees think he is and adds stability to a second base position that has been struggling since Robinson Cano left for Seattle. Didi Gregorius showed he was a force at the bottom of the lineup and at shortstop once he made some adjustments to his game during the year. Him and Starlin provide a new youthful dynamic double play combo that should excite Yankee fans everywhere.

The rotation of Masahiro Tanaka , Luis Severino, Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi , and CC Sabathia can be the absolute best in baseball. Yes, in baseball! Tanaka goes out and pitches like the ace he was in the first season he was here before he injured his elbow, not many people are going to touch his stuff. Sevy has the ability to be just as electric, if not more. At 21, he seems ready to be a power arm reliable of handling the ball in big situations. Big Mike much like Sevy has electric stuff. Mothers Day last year he struck out 16 and for a period of time he was untouchable and was the ace of the staff. With not of the "ace" burden on his shoulders he can go out and just pitch. When he does, oh boy it's a site to see. Nasty Nate dazzled in first year in the Bronx winning 14 games before his injury. His stuff is filthy and is the hardest thrower in the rotation. If he can bring that same poise he had last season into 2016, expect a big year.  Sabathia is the 5th starter and just needs to be a reliable get me to the 6th inning kind of pitcher. His best days are behind him but he can contribute and he had a solid September after getting a knee brace to help him stabilize his delivery.


The three headed monster at the end of the bullpen with Chapman, Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances will leave everyone in awe in what they're witnessing. 100 strikeouts by each, dominance across the board and they will lead the Yanks into the postseason with a great chance of winning.


The Bad:

You saw what happened in August and September last year. That could very well end up being the 2016 Yankees. Injuries and old age finally catch up and it'll be a long season in the Bronx. Every night was so frustrating to watch those final two months. The Yankees are putting a lot of stock into a lot of question marks, we can only hope that this isn't the case.


Final Prediction:

92-70 1st place in the American League East and a trip to the ALCS.

OR

83-79 3rd place in the American League East.

My gut leans to the latter.





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