5 Takeaways from New York Yankees' Opening Series vs. Houston Astros

Matt SchneidmanContributor IIIApril 4, 2014

5 Takeaways from New York Yankees' Opening Series vs. Houston Astros

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    For any New York Yankees fan who thought opening the season with last season's worst team, the Houston Astros, would be a walk in the park, they were wrong.

    The Astros took two out of three from the Bronx Bombers at Minute Maid Park, giving Houston a little while to relish a winning record for the first time in a long time.

    There were some concerns and some positives for New York, who is believed to be fighting for a wild card spot behind Boston and Tampa Bay in the AL East. Bleacher Report's Zachary D. Rymer even predicts the Yankees to be this year's most disappointing team.

    But without further adieu, here are five takeaways from the Yanks' opening series with the Astros.

5. Derek Jeter Is Going to Have a Legendary Farewell Tour

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    Although Jeter only went 2-for-9 in the opening three games, he came away with some nice Texas goods.

    Similar to how Mariano Rivera was graced with peculiar gifts at every away ballpark last season, Jeter was given custom made No. 2 cowboy boots, a cowboy hat and a set of golf clubs.

    I don't think anything can beat the rocking chair made of broken bats given to Rivera by the Minnesota Twins, but Jeter's collection is off to a good start.

    If this is any sign of how he'll be honored at every ballpark, it should be a memorable farewell tour for the captain.

4. Alfonso Soriano Needs to Shake off the Rust

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    Remember when Soriano went on an absolute tear in the middle of last season?

    That seems like a distant memory of the past after Soriano's utterly abysmal start to the 2014 campaign.

    He went 0-for-12 with four strikeouts in the first three games, failing to even reach base. Joel Sherman of the New York Post highlighted Soriano as the main reason for the Yankees' offensive struggles early on.

    I know he's 38, but Soriano is certainly more capable that what he showed, and the Yankees desperately need his bat this season.

3. Keep Yangervis Solarte on the Team

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    Not many people had heard of the 26-year-old Venezuelan shortstop before this series, but now many Yankees fans are rummaging to look up the correct pronunciation of his name.

    Solarte leads, or is tied for the lead, on the team in runs, hits, RBIs and total bases, despite having only five at-bats on the year.

    He went 3-for-3 yesterday with an RBI to help the Yankees pick up their first win of the season.

    Although Jeter is obviously the starting shortstop, Solarte can play some DH or sub in for Jeter when he needs a day of rest or (knock on wood) if Jeter gets hurt.

2. C.C. Sabathia Will Have to Prove Himself as a Reliable Number One

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    Last season, Sabathia had a mediocre year, going 14-13 with a 4.78 ERA.

    The four years before that, he had double-digit win totals and single-digit loss totals. For anyone that had hopes he'd get back to that trend, this year didn't get off to such a good start.

    Sabathia allowed six runs in six innings and gave up two home runs and eight hits as well.

    Everyone knows Sabathia is capable of Cy Young Award-winning material, but is he just getting too old to put the extra mustard on his pitches anymore?

1. The Yankees Need to Find a Power Source

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    New York is one of two teams in the MLB without a home run yet this season, along with the Kansas City Royals.

    I know it's early, but with the likes of Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran and Soriano, the Yankees should have no problem finding players to hit home runs this year. 

    They only had four extra-base hits in the first three games, and one of those came from the aforementioned three.

    Yankees fans will just need to cross their fingers and hope that the middle of the lineup kicks it into gear against the Blue Jays.