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2017 Expectations

GEICO SportsNite: Yankees news 00:01:32
Sweney Murti reports on all the latest news from Yankees camp and general manager Brian Cashman speaks to the media.

Chris Carelli, SNY.tv

Dellin Betances has the talent to be a closer. However, the mammoth right-hander seems more at ease as the precursor to close out games. Fortunately for the Yankees, Betances will reassume that role in 2017.

How did Betances fare in 2016?

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, 2017 Expectations, Tyler Clippard, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) pitches against the Kansas City Royals during the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) pitches against the Kansas City Royals during the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. (Brad Penner)

Chris Carelli, SNY.tv

Aroldis Chapman is the hardest throwing closer in the game and one of the few must-see Yankees. That's all well and good, but will Chapman be able to push the Yankees into playoff contention behind his 100+ mph fastballs?

How did Chapman fare in 2016?

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, 2017 Expectations, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda delivers a pitch against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. (John Rieger/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda delivers a pitch against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. (John Rieger/USA Today Sports Images)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV:

Michael Pineda is an enigma, and unfortunately for the Yankees that's the only consistency he has offered since being traded to New York before the 2014 season. Will Pineda, who becomes a free agent after this season, continue to bewilder the Yankees or reach his upside potential in 2017?

How did Pineda fare in 2016?

Pineda was good enough in 2016 to rack up 207 strikeouts in just 175 2/3 innings (10.6 K/9, which was best among American League starters) and bad enough to register a 4.82 ERA (3.79 FIP) and 1.35 WHIP. Pineda was not nearly as stingy as in recent seasons with his walk rate (2.7 BB/9 as opposed to 0.8 BB/9 in 2014 and 1.2 BB/9 in 2015) and he allowed 27 home runs (1.4 HR/9). The strikeouts marked Pineda's career high, while the ERA, WHIP, walks and home runs were all career-worst measures. Pineda also averaged a career-low 5.5 innings per start and reached the seventh inning in just four starts.

Tags: Michael Pineda, 2017 Expectations, Chris Carelli
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV:

One can argue the Yankees should have been prepared for CC Sabathia to break down during his seven-year deal, which was advanced by a two-year extension. Unfortunately, Sabathia's troubles developed much sooner than the club hoped and encapsulated three full seasons as he battled injuries and diminished effectiveness. Sabathia finally discovered how to pitch without a power fastball, which led to a comeback season in 2016. Can he finish off his contract with a strong 2017 season?

How did Sabathia fare in 2016?

Sabathia entered the 2016 season with skeptical optimism based on his last handful of starts in 2015. He had been fitted for a knee brace which provided him the ability to pitch while limiting stress on his surgically-repaired right knee. The brace provided Sabathia confidence in the landing of his delivery, which allowed the left-hander to concentrate on his transformation into a finesse pitcher.

Tags: CC Sabathia, 2017 Expectations, Chris Carelli
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Chris Carelli, SNY.TV:

Masahiro Tanaka has a decision to make at the end of the season and his performance on the mound will likely dictate whether he opts out of the final three seasons of his seven-year, $155 million deal with the Yankees. Will Tanaka finally put to rest the notion of whether he was an ace in 2016, and can he duplicate that effort in 2017?

How did Tanaka fare in 2016?

Tanaka was far and away the Yankees' top starter in 2016 and pushed himself into the American League Cy Young Award discussion in the process, finishing seventh in the voting. Tanaka threw the most innings of his major league career (199 2/3) and finished with a 14-4 record, 3.07 ERA (142 ERA+), 1.07 WHIP, 165 strikeouts, and 36 walks...

Tags: Masahiro Tanaka, 2017 Expectations, Chris Carelli
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 (Gary A. Vasquez)
(Gary A. Vasquez)

Chris Carelli, SNY.tv

The Yankees' youth movement will be in full effect in right field this season. The club will give long-time prospect Aaron Judge a chance to win the role full time with the initial fallback option being former first-round pick Aaron Hicks. If it gets beyond these two players, the Yankees could be forced to institute a revolving door of right fielders in 2017.

How they fared in 2016

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Gary Sanchez, Jacoby Ellsbury, 2017 Expectations, Chris Carelli
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Chris Carelli, SNY.TV:

Jacoby Ellsbury has four years left on his seven-year, $153 million contract with the Yankees. He has yet to deliver the performance typically warranting such a deal and time is running out for him to turn the tide. Will 2017 be more of the same, or can Ellsbury channel some of the production he seemingly left in Boston?

How did Ellsbury fare in 2016?

Tags: Jacoby Ellsbury, 2017 Expectations, Chris Carelli
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 (AP)
(AP)

Chris Carelli, SNY.tv

Brett Gardner's name is constantly bandied about in trade rumors, but once again he seems locked in as the Yankees' Opening Day left fielder. Gardner brings enough to the table to make his contract desirable, but can he reclaim extra-base power and base-stealing prowess in 2017, which would aid the Yankees on the field and boost his value on the trade market?

How did Gardner fare in 2016?

Gardner's overall offensive performance continued to skid in 2016. Gardner posted a .261 batting average, .351 on-base percentage and a .362 slugging percentage. Gardner stroked 22 doubles, six triples and seven home runs, scored 80 runs and drove in 41. Gardner's 92 OPS+ was by far his lowest measure since 2011. Most disappointing was Gardner's work on the base paths in which he swiped just 16 bases in a disturbingly low 20 attempts.

Tags: Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, 2017 Expectations, Chris Carelli
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St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday (7) looks on after hitting a home run during the third inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. (Caylor Arnold)
St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday (7) looks on after hitting a home run during the third inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. (Caylor Arnold)

Chris Carelli, SNY.tv

As an All-Star outfielder with the St. Louis Cardinals, Matt Holliday was a key component to the club's offense for over seven years. Holliday enters a new phase in his career in 2017; as part of a new team and in a new role. Holliday will shed his glove on most days, but his offensive prowess will be integral to the Yankees success this season.

How Holliday fared in 2016

Tags: Gary Sanchez, 2017 Expectations, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees third baseman Chase Headley (12) singles during the third inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. (Kim Klement)
New York Yankees third baseman Chase Headley (12) singles during the third inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. (Kim Klement)

Chris Carelli, SNY.tv

Yankees third baseman Chase Headley might be the most maligned player on the club's roster who truly doesn't deserve it. There is nothing flashy about Headley's game, but he's been consistent with the Yankees. Maybe, the type of "consistency," is the problem for fans.

Headley has perpetually stunk in one or two months of a season - whether that be at the plate or in the field - and has produced extended stretches of excellent play which elevate his season metrics into "average player" territory. Can Headley, who turns 33 in May, put together a season - one filled with above-average play in all facets - from April through October?

Tags: Chase Headley, 2017 Expectations, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees catcher Austin Romine congratulates shortstop Didi Gregorius after scoring against the Houston Astros in the fifth inning at Minute Maid Park. (Thomas Shea/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Yankees catcher Austin Romine congratulates shortstop Didi Gregorius after scoring against the Houston Astros in the fifth inning at Minute Maid Park. (Thomas Shea/USA Today Sports Images)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees traded for Didi Gregorius believing in his upside potential and exhibited patience after a slow start in his first season in pinstripes. The club's relaxed attitude paid off as Gregorius flourished for a better part of 2016. Gregorius' gradual evolution has fans wondering if he can continue to elevate his game. 
 
How Gregorius fared in 2016 
 
In 2016, Gregorius became one of the best players on the club, turning in his finest all-around season. However, like much of the rest of the club, Gregorius got off to a rocky start in the season's opening month, hitting .224 with four extra-base hits, a .254 on-base percentage and a .343 slugging percentage. From that point Gregorius slashed .283/.311/.461 with 30 doubles, 18 home runs and 66 RBIs. Gregorius finished the 2016 season with career-high marks in batting average (.276), hits (155), doubles (32), home runs (20), RBIs (70) and slugging percentage (.447). 

Tags: Didi Gregorius, 2017 Expectations, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees second baseman Starlin Castro hits a solo home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the second inning at Yankee Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Yankees second baseman Starlin Castro hits a solo home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the second inning at Yankee Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV:

After Robinson Cano left the Yankees via free agency, the club went through two seasons of vacant offensive production without spectacular glove work from a slew of players at the keystone. The 2016 season brought stability and an offensive uptick with Starlin Castro, but it can be argued the soon to be 27-year-old infielder has yet to attain his ceiling. Can he reach it in 2017?

How Castro fared in 2016:

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, 2017 Expectations, Starlin Castro, Chris Carelli
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Chris Carelli, SNY.TV:

The Yankees knew at the outset of the 2016 season that they would be without Mark Teixeira in 2017, but they might not have believed they would conduct a spring training competition to determine his successor. Here's a look at the candidates...

How they fared in 2016:

Tags: Greg Bird, 2017 Expectations, Tyler Austin, Chris Carelli
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 (Danny Wild)
(Danny Wild)

Chris Carelli, SNY.tv

Yankees fans are rightfully excited about catcher Gary Sanchez, the 2016 American League Rookie of the Year runner-up, but to expect the same level of offensive production in 2017 might be asking too much.

What the Yankees need is a consistent force at and behind the plate. The Yankees require a potent bat in the middle of the batting order and a catcher who can control his pitching staff. Sanchez is that player, but as recently as the beginning of the 2015 season, the club was not certain he was.

Tags: Gary Sanchez, 2017 Expectations, Chris Carelli
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