Thursday, February 08, 2007

Countdown to 2007

Pitchers/Catchers = 2/13
Position Players = 2/19
Full Squad = 2/20


Burning questions on the eve of the 2007 season:

Pitching
  1. Carl Pavano - Will he stand and deliver? Crumble from the pressure? Make all of his starts? Win at least 15 games? Get hurt during warm ups?
  2. Kei Igawa - Does he have MLB stuff? Will he post the best stats being a number 5 starter? Is Yankee management being coy with us trying to manage expectations full well knowing he is a way better pitcher than Dice-K?
  3. Chien-Ming Wang - How will he handle being a number 1 starter? Is he a real ace?
  4. Andy Pettitte - Is he healthy and up to the task mentally?
  5. Will the combo of Proctor, Farnsworth, and Rivera prove to be the "formula" like River and Wetland in '96? Will Humberto Sanchez be a postive factor for the pen?
  6. Mike Mussina - Will this be the year he gets 20 wins?
  7. Hughes, Rassner, and Karstens - Will they be ready when called upon?
The Lineup
  1. A-Rod - Does he man up and produce A-Rod numbers for both the regular AND post season? Another MVP? When will he go Kenny Rogers on a reporter from being tired of the constant inquiry on whether or not he'll be a Yankee in '08? Will he finally prove that he is championship material?
  2. Jeter - Will he be a better leader in 2007 (speaking in club house terms not on the field production)? Is he secretly heartbroken that Jessica Biehl dumped him for Justin Timberlake?
  3. Abreu - Do power numbers come back with a full season in the Bronx?
  4. Phelps/Mientkiewicz - Are either of these guys a long term solution for 1B? Should we even care given that we have a pipe hitter like Juan Miranda in the system?
  5. Cano - A fluke or will he keep producing the big numbers?
  6. Giambi - Does the average go back up and power go down entering a 2nd full season juice free?
  7. Posada - If he gets hurt or tired, is Will Nieves ready for the big time?
  8. Bernie Williams - Will we see him again before Bernie Williams day?
Manager
  1. Will Joe Torre make it for the full season? Will he go out on top or out on his back side?

13 comments:

Crash said...

Nice to see that Kei Igawa has already arrived in Tampa. Jeter is also in early as usual. Is there an A-Rod sighting...not yet.

Anonymous said...

He's helping the kids read with his new book.. The guy gives back to the community and you want to run him over...

.. at least he's not pushing cologne onto the public.

old professor said...

Your summary of the 2007 Yankees, points out a lot of questions marks that will determine how the season will go. If Pavano stays healthy can he produce? Will Igawa prove to be solid? How will Wang handle being number 1? and will Pettitte return to form? That's four questions about five of the starting pitchers. A team should not be going into Spring Training with serious questions about 80% of the starting rotation.

As for A-Rod, the guy hits over thirty home runs a year, drives in over 100 runs, and hits around .300 and you want to raise questions about him. Baseball is still a team sport and no matter what numbers he puts up the rest of the TEAM will have to produce. His numbers in Texas were out of sight, but the surrounding cast was awful - Texas never won.

Was it A-Rod's fault the Yankees lost the the D-Backs? Was it his fault they blew a three game advantage in the playoffs against Boston? Was it his fault they were eliminated by Detroit? Answer to all of the above - NO. In each case, it was a team meltdown that caused those loses.

Get off the guy's back and let him play.

The Scooter said...

Save this in the archives and we will re-read it after the season to see how brilliant I really am:

Pavano: Obviously has a Hell of a lot to prove. I say he stays healthy and goes 14-8 with a 4.30 ERA....Not Bad.

Igawa: I have absolutely no feel for Igawa whatsoever. You could tell me he will be in the minors by July or you could tell me that he will go 18-3....and I wouldn't argue with either one.

Wang: He'll be fine. The guy doesn't get flustered. Guaranteed to win 16, and don't be surprised if you see a Cy Young like run. I say 19-4 3.48 era

Petitte will be fine mentally. Mental toughness is his greatest assett. Sadly the elbow will not hold up and Hughes will be in his spot by July.

Bullpen: Will be one of the main strenghts of the team. Proctor will emerge as one of the games best set up men. Farnsworth will be lights out (albeit every OTHER day) and Mo shows no signs of slowing down. Sanchez will be packaged at the deadline for a an ace or for Mark Texiera.

Hughes will be up by the summer and will start his run as the best Yankee pitcher since Whitey Ford.

Rasstens OR Karsner (whatever you prefer) will be out of the league by June 1st.

Tomorrow I will analyze the line-up.

DJ said...

Yes it is a team sport - but, in the 2004 and 2006 series, you need your AL MVP to produce with runners on base, and A-Rod did not due that.

Had he done that, the Yanks would have had larger leads in the '04 series, and would've done better against Detroit.

That is not refutable.

Mid Relief said...

What if, and I concede it is a BIG what if, what if Andy Pettitte stays healthy, comes back like a mental machine and wins say 15 to 20 this year, and opts to play again and wins 15 to 20 again - that'll give him about 225 wins for a career.

Who knows how often we'll see a 300 game winner again (maybe Zito), is AP a HOFer at 225 wins and 4 to 6 championships?

The Scooter said...

Mid,

Lets cross the HOF bridge after he puts thirty or thirty five more wins on the board and another championship or 2.

old professor said...

It seems the questions surrounding Bernie Williams have been answered. He has turned down the non-roster player invitiation and will not be in camp. He now has only two options - retire or go to another team. Florida is looking for a centerfielder. Could Bernie be in a Marlins uniform this year?

There may now be some controversy with Mo Rivera as well. His career may be coming to a close with the Yankees (no pun intended). His contract expires at the end of the year and has not been approached for an extension. While he has indicated he has always been treated well by the Yankees and would like to finish his career in NY, there doesn't seem to be any concern by Cashman regarding an extension. As Rivera said recently - "All I want is of the Yankees to show me some respect for what I have done. If they don't, I can go elsewhere". Worse case scenario, he doesn't sign, becomes a free agent and signs a two-year deal with the Red Sox. YIKES.

The Scooter said...

Prof,

If you think the Yankees are going to let MO walk, I want some of whatever it is that you are smoking.

Rivera will be closing games for the Bombers in their new stadium in 2009.

old professor said...

Another arm in the bullpen. The Yankees have signed Ron Villone to a minor league contract. He will compete with Sean Henn and Mike Meyers for a spot in the pen. Let's be realistic, hee is a veteran and Joe likes veterans over young pitchers. Henn might as well get used to pitching in Triple A for another year.

While he may be a veteran, Villone's ERA was over 5.00 last year. He was lights out early, but overuse may have cost him later in the year.

Anonymous said...

Giants - cut Luke Pet. and Lavar Harrington.

I think the Yanks will likely offer Mo a one year extension depending on the progress of Humberto Sanchez.

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