The Bombers must answer several questions in the bullpen before heading to Minute Maid Park, but the depth of talent up and down the projected Opening Day lineup could prove phenomenal, and the offensive picture should subdue fans' anxiety about those gaping pitching holes—or at least temporarily make fans forget about them.
Sufficient speed meets pop. Switch-hitters regulate a well-balanced batting order. World Series winners with a final mark to leave join those hungrier than ever for a ring before their careers prove to be transient.
For a lineup comprised largely of aging knees and previously injured ankles and wrists, the defensive outlook is certainly not picturesque—especially in right field and in the infield, where questions run rampant. But if the majority of the projected starters meet expectations, and a few of them even exceed our hopeful assumptions, the 2014 lineup represents what could be a dominant, formidable force in not only the American League East, but also in all of Major League Baseball.
And the expectations, while optimistic, are inexorably contingent upon these stars escaping long-term injury in 2014. Days off are fine, and they will likely be beneficial—so long as the number of those days isn't followed by the words "disabled list."
Take a look below at one projected 2014 lineup card. Regardless of the ultimate Opening Day order, the list of nine starters should induce some confidence and anticipation:
Read on for some quick-hitting expectations and things to watch for from each starter in 2014 based on recent trends and corresponding outlooks.
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