People all around the country have predicted 2013 to be The Year the Yankees Don't Make It. And I can see why, too. Their best players injured, no real rookie support, no real hitters left. It seems like the Yankees are destined to fail, which is precisely why they won't.
First, a look at who they added for 2013:
- Kevin Youkilis, a free agent signing
- Chien-Ming Wang, to a minor league deal
- Vernon Wells, a minor league deal
- Travis Hafner, a free agent signing
- Juan Rivera, a free agent signing
- Eric Chavez, to the Diamondbacks
- Andruw Jones, to Japan
- Rafael Soriano, to the Nationals
- Nick Swisher, to the Indians
- Freddy Garcia, to free agency
- Russell Martin, to the Pirates
1. Good pitching. Even though our hitting's been depleted, out pitching has hardened and improved. C.C. Sabathia is our ace, and will remain our ace. Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettite are solid, strong starters that could last us through the year. You can't count out Phil Hughes, and Ivan Nova, when he's healthy, will be a strong fifth man. Really, the problems aren't in this department.
2. A good running game. This is something the Yankees have never relied on, and something they're going to be forced to. With their big stars injured, what they'll need to do is rely on small singles and a lot of baserunning. This may seem pretty hard, but people like Ichiro, Cano, Gardner and a lot of the young stars they're going to be circulating will help with that. Also, Chris Dickerson is looking for a job, and he might return to the team. You never know. But still, the Yanks will need to run a lot this season.
3. The best closer in baseball. I don't care if Rodney and Kimbrel are here. Mariano Rivera is the greatest closer ever to play, and people will want to see how he ends his career.
4. Those stars that are injured? They're not gonna be injured forever. Jeter, Teixiera and Granderson will eventually come back, and go back to what they do best. And whenever that happens, it's gonna be tough for the other teams to compete. Hell, Michael Pineda might get healthy, or A-Rod might come back, however unlikely that seems. Either way, the injuries, however short lived, will only shut us down for parts of April and May.
So there. The Yankees will do well this season. I have no idea how anything else will go. However, that right there is what makes baseball so great.