New York Yankees: Early Season Analysis and Predictions

joe stollContributor IApril 18, 2008

Hello Yankees fans.

I’m here to shine some light into the early part of the baseball season for our beloved Yankees Fans.

As we all recover form the spanking the Red Sox just put on our Yankees, let’s look at some of the problems facing our beloved Yanks. The Bronx Bombers currently sit at a respectable 9-8, even with Cano, Damon, and Giambi all hitting below .205.

Yes, this is something that needs to be fixed but let’s all not lose any sleep over this. We all know that Robby will come back and start hitting around his normal .300+ average.

With Robby, Damon, Giambi (who can only seem to hit off Mike Timlin) and Jeter (who missed a couple games due to an injury), I am currently liking what I see from this team. Girardi seems like he has brought a new sense of urgency and spark to this team. It looks like the Yankees could, and yes it may sound weird, be the surprise team in the American League.

Yes I say surprise because everyone knows that the Yankees are expected to make the playoffs then struggle as usual, but I think completely different.

The Yankees have only one main weakness in my mind. It’s the back end of the rotation. Hughes and Kennedy need to step up for the Yankees, to go deep into the post season. If Hughes and Kennedy can take the next step in their development process, the Yankees could be destined for big things this season.

IF Hughes and Kennedy can somehow win 12-15 games, the Yankees are in great shape. We all know that Wang will win his usual 16-20 games and Mussina, getting his 10-15, and Pettite his usual 12-15.

The offense is there.

It’s one of the best in the MLB. It’s going to be amazing as usual, getting close to if not breaking the 1,000 run mark.

BUT what I think is the strongest and most important part the Yankees team, is the bullpen. As I watch Brian Bruney replace Joba while he stays by his dad’s side, I start to realize; WOW I love what I’m seeing.

In past seasons, the Yankees have been struggling to put together a bullpen that could hold games. As a fan it hurt to see Torre bring Mo in the 8th inning because he could not trust anyone else to do there job, but this year is different.

Brian Bruney has lost 20-25 pounds and looks like he has taken a huge step in becoming the relief pitcher that he was suppose to be. His fast ball is coming in at around 94-97 mph, and his slider is breaking more then it ever has in his career.

So I’m going to go out on a limb and say, the Yankees have THE best bullpen in baseball. With the improvement of Joba and Bruney, the Yankees are not forced to overwork aging Mo. So as I see it, the Yankees have a great bullpen to help its improving staff.

7th-Bruney         8th-Joba      9th-Rivera

I don’t know about you guys, but if the Yankees have a lead going into the 7th, I’m almost certain that the Yankees are going to win. So to all you Yankees fans who are worried about the team and how they will do, just look at the bullpen and how it will save the starters.

I think the Yankees will improve dramatically this year mainly because of the improvement of the bullpen.