Saturday, August 30, 2008

Yanks Have Work Cut Out For Next Year

I want to describe today's game as heartbreaking, but the way this team has been playing lately, it's not surprising to see them falter yet again. Looking over the box scores for many of the recent games, I've narrowed down the Yankees needs for next year to two things - pitching and hitting. Yep, those are the two areas that need the most work.

In all seriousness, the team needs a major overhaul. Mussina pitched well this year, but he's going to be a year older. Pettitte has been spotty. Rasner and Giese were OK short term replacements, but not guys you want pitching on a regular basis as starters. Wang and Chamberlain should be stars if they can stay healthy and handle the load. So right now, I've got 2 starting pitchers penciled in - Chien Ming and Joba. Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy are both busts in my book, but could turn things around and end up starting.

Relief pitching has been a mixed bag. Other than Rivera, there are very few guys you can count on. Ramirez and Veras are the best we've got at the moment, and they are serviceable, but not quite as good as you'd like. Neither has truly emerged as the reliable set up man the Yanks need.

Offense is simply atrocious. A-Rod is relaxing, enjoying his mega contract and not producing much in the way of results. The Yankees are stuck with him, for better or worse, for a long time. Matsui and Damon are getting more and more injury prone every year and their defense leaves a bit to be desired. Robinson Cano is a waste of a roster spot, but the Yankee brass hasn't quite figured it out yet. The Bombers need to address the upcoming vacancy at first, ideally with someone like Posada, who's catching days are numbered. I doubt that will happen, in which case the Yanks will have to shell out a lot of cash for someone like Texiera.

The list goes on, and this offseason should be a busy one for Yankee brass. Ideally I'd love to see a lot of the fat get cut but despite all the talk from the Steinbrenner boys, I expect to see a lot of the same underachievers back again next year.

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