Will Injuries and Age Finally Catch Up to New York Yankees in 2013?

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Will Injuries and Age Finally Catch Up to New York Yankees in 2013?

For years, the New York Yankees have been one of the oldest teams in baseball.

This, of course, takes its toll.

The older a team is, the more prone to injuries they are. While they have been largely able to stave of the injury bug in the latter part of the decade, it has begun to catch up with them. And it seems that, finally, the age will catch up with the 2013 version of the Yankees.

The Yankees are clearly old and have been for some time.

2013 will be no different.

Their starting rotation will feature players aged 41, 38 and 33. Injuries hit the staff last season, with C.C. Sabathia and Andy Pettitte losing time to injury. Hiroki Kuroda was a workhorse last season, throwing almost 220 innings, and at his age, he's bound to break down.

Mariano Rivera missed most of last season with injury, and while he's expected to be ready for Opening Day, it would be foolish to assume that the 44-year-old will revert back to his old form. If anything, the odds of him not pitching well are quite high.

The Yankees, when fully healthy, have one of the oldest infields in baseball.

Alex Rodriguez will be 38 and is recovering from hip surgery. His replacement, Kevin Youkilis, will be 34. Mark Teixiera will be 33 and is coming off one of his worst seasons ever. Derek Jeter will turn 39 and is coming off ankle surgery.

The odds that this unit will be able to perform to the back of their baseball card is slim. A team that is this old simply does not win championships.

If you look around the league, particularly at the contending teams, they do not feature players this old. San Francisco is led by star pitchers such as Matt Cain, as well as young position players like Buster Posey. Posey is 25 and Cain is 28. 

Teams like the Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Rays, Detroit Tigers and the Texas Rangers are all, for the most part, young. They have terrific young talent and have more coming up the pipeline.

The Yankees do not have that.

Instead of following the league trend of getting more athletic, the Yankees are getting slower.

Elsa/Getty Images
Hiroki Kuroda

With older players, not only are injuries a major risk, but prolonged slumps become more common. The Yankees' bats went completely silent in the playoffs, and save for the heroics from Raul Ibanez, they might not have won a game.

This will happen more often.

As players gets older, their bats get a little bit slower, and eventually that high fastball seems just a little bit faster and that nasty curve gets a little nastier.

Playing with older guys is just like watching a hourglass; you can see the time running out.

The Yankees in their present form are not set up to win a championship. They are way too prone to injuries and they are too old to compete with the young talent that inundates the league.

Unless they find a way to change, or can find a young prospect to brighten things up, they could be looking at a short season. 

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