After a long and cold off season for many baseball fans, Opening Day has finally arrived. Teams all around the league have been prepping for this upcoming season in hopes of winning the World Series. The off season is a time for change, to better the team and to plan for the future. That entire process is very exciting and no team is more excited for the future than the New York Yankees.
After a season of many additions and departures last year, the Yankees stocked up their farm system with endless talent. The Yanks arguably have one of the best farm systems in all of baseball and are a team to fear in the future. The farm system has been compared to the one in the 90’s that contained many greats; Jeter, Posada, Rivera, Petitte. The prospects are even being called better than that of the 90’s, only making Yankees fans smile even more.
The Yankees prospects took the stage this Spring Training and helped lead the Yankees to the best record in all of baseball during that time. The Baby Bombers, (Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, Aaron Judge, Luis Severino) were all dominant during spring. All of those guys are going to be on the major league roster, not including the “Infant Bombers,” as i like to call them. That group includes Clint Frazier, Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, Jorge Mateo, Chance Adams, etc. Those guys will soon be in the majors, but for now, they are learning the ropes and powering their way through the minors.
Fast forward to Opening Day. The Yankees were being hosted by the Rays and it was thought to be a battle of the aces, Tanaka versus Archer. Many fans were also excited to see Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird and Aaron Judge in their first Opening Day game. Let’s just say things didn’t go as planned.
Tanaka only pitched 2.2 innings, giving up 7 runs. During Spring Training, his ERA was 0.38. I guess you can say that he was due for a bad outing and it just so happened it was on Opening Day.
The Yankees bats also struggled as many couldn’t get hits. Sanchez, Bird, Holliday, Ellsbury and Judge went a combined 1-20. Aaron Judge had the only hit, an RBI double. Stalin Castro and Chase Headley had great games, combing for 6 hits. Another bright spot in the horrifying loss to the Rays was the bullpen, as they were lights out after replacing Tanaka.
Many baseball fanatics are freaking out over this loss to the Rays. It’s day one for these guys and they have 161 games left to go. This loss means absolutely nothing. Of course it’s not the way Joe Girardi and company wanted to start the season, and I’m sure they’ll get it together soon, if not by game two of this series. It’s a long season and it’s not about how you start, it’s about how you finish.
2017 Season Projection:
This season is going to be a developmental one for the Yankees. There are so many new guys on the team, and so many changes that will be made throughout the year. The Baby Bombers are taking over and soon the Infant Bombers will soon follow. The key for any team’s success is health. If players stay healthy and produce the way they should, they’ll win ball games.
In my eyes, I can see the Yankees having a similar record to last year’s. About 86-76. The Yankees are a good baseball team with an abundance of talent. This team is going to win games, and when they get hot, people should watch out. This team is very young and injuries are inevitable. The Yankees will be lucky to grab a Wild Card spot in the playoffs, in hopes of potentially making a run. If not for that, believe that they will miss the playoffs.
The AL East is the best division in the MLB, and that’s why the Yankees will have trouble making the playoffs. The Red Sox are definitely the team to beat, and the 2016 AL Wild Card match-up between the Orioles and Blue Jays show they’re tough teams as well. If the Rays continue to play the way they did on Opening Day (which I doubt, sorry Rays fans), then they’ll be a threat as well.
Over the next decade or so, the New York Yankees will be a powerhouse baseball team and potentially the best in all of baseball. The young talent they have lined up to play in the show is actually absurd. No other team is prepared for the future like the Yankees. This season will be a complete preview of what is to come in the following years. Although a rough loss to the Rays today might have Yankees fans down in the dumps, they should remember what this team has up its sleeve in the very, very near future.
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