This New York Yankees team is an enigma. If they stay healthy and get bounceback seasons from their veterans, they should competete for a playoff spot. If they stay injury prone and underachieve though, they could slip to a below .500 team for the first time in ages.
With that being said, it’s an incredibly hard task to make any predictions for this team. Here are five bold ones.
1. Michael Pineda will be a Cy Young candidate:
Pineda is coming off a season in which he threw for an incredibly low 1.89 ERA in limited time on the mound. He battled injuries and a pine tar suspension that derailed his season, but this year he will be ready to dominate. He has looked phenomenal in Spring Training, and will look to continue that success into the regular season. He will go 16-7 with a 2.59 ERA.
2. Masahiro Tanaka will not pitch a full season:
Tanaka’s UCL injury can not be forgotten yet. It often can come back up since he opted to not get surgery. He’s looked poor in Spring Training, and even said so himself that his velocity may not be as good as it was a season ago. He will struggle, causing the Yankees to try and shut him down for a bit to either get surgery or rehab the arm again.
3. Mark Teixeira will hit at least 25 home runs:
Teixeira has struggled mightily the past two seasons. Battling injuries, the shift, and inconsistent play, he hasn’t been himself. He’s now 35 and at the end of his career. He’s been on a new diet and will no longer need weekly wrist treatments. He’s healthy and reinvigorated. This new state of mind will led Teixeira to hit for at least 25 home runs, powering the Yankees offense.
4. Rob Refsnyder takes the starting second base job by July 1st:
Currently, Stephen Drew is slated to be the Yankees starting second baseman. He’s coming off an awful year, hitting .169 last season. Why the Yankees re-signed him with players like Pirela and Refsnyder in the minors does make sense though, as both are still raw and developing. Drew will struggle again this season, probably not to the extent of last year, but he still will be a below average hitter. This will led the Yankees to call up Rob Refsnyder, the top hitting prospect the Yankees have in Triple-A. He has fielding issues, but the Yankees will be forced to put him in as Drew continues to struggle and hurt the lineup.
5. Adam Warren will be an effective starter:
Warren will be the Yankees number five starter due to injuries to Ivan Nova and Chris Capuano. He pitched mostly out of the bullpen last season, with a 2.97 ERA in 69 appearances. He’s been solid in Spring Training, and while it isn’t always a good idea to look in stats from Spring Training, it’s still promising. Warren will be a solid started, pitching with an ERA below 3.70.