Monday, March 9, 2009

Cause for Concern

Spring training has only recently begun and most Yankee fans have reason to be worried about the upcoming season. One of the main reasons for last year’s troubles was a plague of injuries and that slowly looks to be happening again this time around.

The biggest news of the pre-season is A-Rods upcoming hip surgery which will take him out 6-9 weeks. The idea is that he’ll have arthroscopic surgery to get him mostly healed and able to play the vast majority of season and then he’ll have another procedure in the offseason. If all goes well, they should only miss him for about 1 month of the actual season. If all goes well.

In the meantime, Cody Ransom is the everyday backup to start in his place and Cashman is probably exploring other options and thinking about making a trade to pick up another third baseman. This would be an unfortunate move if the Yankees had to give up anything significant, which they likely would. Moving Cabrera or Kennedy wouldn’t bother me, but giving up an actual prospect would be a big setback to the depleted Yankee farm system, especially if you’re only acquiring a guy who will likely only see a month or two of work as a Yankee.

The second area of concern is Jorge Posada, who had a bit of shoulder stiffness early in the spring and sat out a while. While his replacement Molina might be a fine defensive backstop, he is an offensive liability. The Yankees surely missed Posada’s bat last year and will do so again if he’s not up to snuff. The idea of DHing Posada doesn’t quite work out because of Matsui.

Which brings up the last area of concern, Hideki Matsui. Yes, he’s looking somewhat healthy this year and is expected to be able to DH, but there’s no talk of him returning to the outfield any time soon. The reason this is a concern is that the Yankees now have 3 guys who may end up being nothing more than DH when the people actually playing the skill positions have significantly lower offensive outputs. If A-Rod can move back to third and Posada can’t throw from behind the plate, the Yankees are going to be in a world of hurt.

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