A RIVAL SCOUT SIZES UP THE YANKEES
It will be a miracle if they make the playoffs—they all have to have career years and play perfect defense to stay above water.... I don't ever count Derek Jeter out. I still think he can get his barrel to the ball and fight off inside pitches. He has such a good approach.... You can't count on Alex Rodriguez, though. His lower half has deteriorated; he doesn't have the torque to drive the ball. He's now a mistake power guy, not someone who can drive your pitch.... Mark Teixeira is the same. He's still dangerous when you make a mistake, but he's not going to hit good pitching.... Robinson Cano is a great hitter, as good as there is in the game. To have a chance against him, you have to move the ball around, change speeds and move his eyes.... They'll miss Russell Martin—he gave them 21 home runs. They may not get 20 in BP from catchers Chris Stewart and Francisco Cervelli.... CC Sabathia has declined a bit, but his breaking ball still has good finish and his changeup has developed.... Hiroki Kuroda has five quality pitches, but he gets sidetracked trying to throw all of them. It should be about going with your best pitches all night.... As usual, Mariano Rivera will be a machine. His ball still has late action and can stay off the barrel of the bat.... This is as good as I've seen Joba Chamberlain since he's gone back to the bullpen. He was 92 to 95 mph this spring and threw good sliders and curveballs effortlessly.
2013 Projected Statistics
MANAGER JOE GIRARDI
Sixth season with the Yankees
LINEUPS AND STAT PROJECTIONS BY ROTOWIRE.COM
The K Meter
Percentage of 2012 plate appearances that ended with a strikeout, and major league rank
BY HITTERS | 18.9% | 10TH
BY PITCHERS | 21.7% | 5TH
They hang around .500 until Granderson, Teixeira and A-Rod return, then slug their way to one of the wild-card spots.
Injuries and age decimate the offense, and a similarly aging staff produces the first losing season in the Bronx since 1992.
Ben Reiter has more on the Yankees at SI.com/mlb
This is the weakest team the Yankees have fielded in at least a decade. With Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira joining Alex Rodriguez on the disabled list to start the year, and with two 39-year-olds (Derek Jeter and Ichiro) in the every-day lineup, and with no catcher to speak of, a poor opening month seems likely. As unthinkable as it might be for a team with a $200 million payroll in a city as demanding as New York, general manager Brian Cashman can't give his aging, fragile team much rope this year: He should cash in free-agents-to-be Granderson, Robinson Cano, Hiroki Kuroda and Kevin Youkilis for prospects. The team is in transition, with just five players under contract for 2014, a desire to get under the luxury-tax threshold ($189 million) and a crop of promising prospects due to start arriving in '15. Believe it, New Yorkers: If missing one pennant race with a roster that is the third best in the division makes it even a little more likely that the Bombers can win the AL East in the second half of the decade, it will be worth it.
DAMIAN STROHMEYER/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (JETER)
CHUCK SOLOMON FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (CANO)