As the Yankees have fully embraced the youth movement, it should be no shock that the club will rely on rookies in its effort to return to the postseason. We'll cover five rookies -- including a couple of sleepers -- that may make significant impacts for the Yankees this season.
2018 Yankees Expectations
The moment the Yankees were eliminated from the 2017 American League Championship Series, the presumption that the team was ready to once again be perennial and legitimate World Series contenders bloomed. In that sense, expectations for the club's new skipper were established well before Aaron Boone was interviewed - let alone hired - for the Yankees' managerial job.
Typically, when deciphering the methodology of a new manager, we can draw on characteristics and decisions made in the minors, or with another organization. Instead, prognostication of Boone's inaugural season as the Yankees manager is purely based on speculation. We only know what Boone has told us about his qualifications, and how the Yankees have described his ability to lead the club better than his predecessor, Joe Girardi.
In order for the Yankees to build on a surprising and inspiring 2017 season, the club will need to receive the dominant efforts many expect from their late-inning relievers.
As we preview expectations for the coming season, we'll take the relievers in the order I believe Yankees skipper Aaron Boone will open the season if he was to utilize a strict inning-by-inning methodology to complete games (he probably won't).
Tags: 2018 Yankees Expectations, Adam Warren, Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, Dellin Betances, Chris Carelli
The backend of the Yankees bullpen is going to get a majority of the press when bullpens are compared team by team. As dominant as those relievers might be, the Yankees middle relievers are just as critical to the team's ability to reach the postseason in 2018.
Tags: 2018 Yankees Expectations, Adam Warren, Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, Chasen Shreve, Jonathan Holder, Luis Cessa, Luis Severino, Chris Carelli
Jordan Montgomery hopes to build on a surprisingly successful 2017 season, but will there be enough innings for him to do so?
The Yankees continue to look to add a starter to their rotation - already five strong - meaning Montgomery would seem to be the odd man out should all parties be healthy. His potential fate may not seem to be completely fair considering his performance in 2017.
In 2017, when the Yankees needed a win after a loss, there was no one better than CC Sabathia.
Playing in his age-36/37 season, Sabathia became old reliable when the club needed him most, and carried the performance into the club's surprising postseason run. Sabathia's lengthy transformation into a finesse pitcher has been completed, however, will his body hold up, and how much longer can will his impact be a positive one?
As Sonny Gray stands on the mound, he is far from physically intimidating. However, he has extremely strong stuff, enough so that he should be able to instill some apprehension in opposing batters.
To be successful in 2018, Gray has to buy into himself.
Baseball front office personnel often come to a crossroads with a player. They will contemplate, "What role is this player best suited?" In simplistic terms, there is a 50/50 shot - a proverbial coin flip - they'll head in the right direction.
That fork in the road came up rather quickly for the Yankees concerning right-hander Luis Severino. At 23 years old, Severino entered the 2017 season with a slew of questions that originated from a disappointing 2016 season, in which he flopped as a starting pitcher in the big leagues, but dominated as a reliever.
Amazing! Awe-inspiring! Historic!
Those words - among many - were used to describe Aaron Judge's 2017 Rookie of the Year season. Somewhat surprisingly, we can add "room to grow." Judge understands this and has succeeded in this fashion already.
There is something different about this winter for the Yankees' left fielder; Gardner's name is not mentioned in virtually every trade the club is rumored to be interested in making. In fact, Gardner trade rumors - an annual offseason tradition - are near non-existent besides intermittent Twitter chatter. The interesting aspect of this change of pace is that Gardner's economically sound contract is tied to a player coming off a solid all-around 2017 season.
At the outset of the 2017 season, Gardner was tasked by former Yankees manager Joe Girardi to be the catalyst for the club, and push aside a rough 2016 season. Girardi told Gardner he had to work to score 100 runs, and if he was able to do so, the Yankees would be a tough team to beat. Gardner narrowly missed the milestone, but Girardi pegged the premise correctly in that Gardner was the spark-plug the Yankees needed at the top of the order.
Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives: Didi Gregorius, who will play 2018 in his age-28 season, has improved his performance year after year since coming to New York from Arizona. Not only is Gregorius demonstrating All-Star ability on the field, he has become one of the key members in the clubhouse.
In 2017, Gregorius set career highs with a .287 batting average, .478 slugging percentage, .796 OPS, 106 OPS+, 25 home runs, and 87 RBI. The impressive part to the improving counting stats is that Gregorius reached the measures in 17 fewer games and 27 fewer plate appearances than 2016. Due in part to extenuating circumstances with the rest of the lineup, Gregorius often hit cleanup in 2017.
In the field, Gregorius improved in the area of advanced defensive metrics, posting a +1 in defensive runs saved, which was much improved from his -9 mark in 2016. He has decent enough range, but whether of his own choosing or his coaches, he was often placed out of position, which prevented him from getting to some ground balls hit in his vicinity. Regardless, Gregorius continues to possess one of the stronger arms in the game from the shortstop position...
The Yankees enter the 2018 season with their first baseman set in stone, but will Greg Bird's body hold up long enough to reach his full potential?
Bird was anointed the starting first baseman last season, courtesy of his pedigree and a blistering spring training. But he fouled a ball off his right ankle just before camp broke. The injury seemed minor at the time, except the pain lingered. By the time doctors finally figured out Bird should have the os trigonum removed from his ankle, he had suffered through four and a half months of pain, three and a half of which was spent on the disabled list.