After four seasons without a win in the post season, the New York Yankees are in transition, trying to contend now, while preparing for the future. Armed with a talented farm system and youth all over the roster, New York is sitting pretty for the long term. The present is a bit uncertain, as this franchise is not used to relying on youth and raw talent to succeed. Anything can happen once they take the field, so 2017 should still be a thrilling one for the Yankees.
Finally healthy, Masahiro Tanaka proved himself as the number one pitcher in New York’s rotation, after a very solid 2016 effort. 36 year-old C.C. Sabathia is still pitching with a hurt knee, but continues to escape father time as the Yankees’ number two starter. Michael Pineda is healthy once again, and is looking to rebound from an awful 4.82 ERA last year. The final two spots in the Yankees’ pitching rotation will be determined during spring training between six or so players. When it comes to the bullpen, the club traded Aroldis Chapman at last season’s deadline for a group of prospects, then brought him back just five months later to be their go-to closer. Dellin Betances will step back as a set-up guy, with Tyler Clippard probably a late-inning option. A collection of young relievers will be relied upon to balance out the rest of the bullpen, including Jonathan Holder, a September call-up after a solid pitching stint in the minors. Didi Gregorius is a stout defender at shortstop, and has shown strides when it comes to hitting left-handed pitchers. He’ll tandem with Starlin Castro, who put up a career-high 21 home runs in his first year with the Yankees, all while getting used to second base. Retired first baseman Mark Teixeira is no longer on the roster, so look for Greg Bird and Tyler Austin to possibly share the position and pump up the middle of the lineup. Chase Headley has two years left on his deal, so will remain at third base for New York. Left fielder Brett Gardner is coming off a gold glove winning season, with Jacoby Ellsbury returning to his post in center. The right field position
is a bit murky, but could be a platoon situation with Aaron Judge or Aaron Hicks out there to at least start the 2017 season. 24 year-old Gary Sanchez won the starting catcher job easily in 2016, causing Brian McCann to be traded during the offseason with the future of the Yankees now in Sanchez’s hands.
The future in New York is an exciting one, and the fans are certainly ready to see the Yankees return to greatness. It may take a year or two, but the talent is certainly there and worth watching in 2017. Now is the time to secure your New York Yankee tickets, as this team is hyped and ready for a thrilling season of baseball in the Big Apple.
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