Last season, the Yanks were terrific. But if they want to repeat, they are going to have to be even better. A healthy A-Rod and a set 1-4 in the rotation should help them have a better April-May than last year but, if they want to be able play .670 ball in the second half, they are going to need to score runs like they did last year.
In 2009 the Yanks scored 915 runs, 881 of which were batted in. Both top the AL statistically. With Damon and Matsui gone there is 172 RBIs and 169 runs that need to be replaced.
To replace them, the Yanks have brought in Nick Johnson and Curtis Granderson. Nick Johnson had 62 RBIs and 71 runs last season; I believe both numbers will be higher this season when he is placed in the number two spot in this powerful Yankee lineup. The only players with a higher OBP than Nick Johnson last year were Joe Mauer and Albert Pujols...good company. He should be conservatively penciled in for 100 runs and 80 RBIs.
Curtis Granderson hit .249 last season, but I think in New York he will probably hit .270-.280 and his power numbers will slide a bit. He had 91 runs and 71 RBIs last season. I think he will lose some of those runs since he will be hitting sixth, seventh, or eighth, but he will probably get a boost in the RBI department because of that same reason. I see him having 80 runs and probably 85 RBIs. So his production added to Johnson's will be roughly 180 runs and 165 RBIs.
This should be more than adequate since Johnson's OBP says he will be padding Teixeira's and A-Rod's RBI numbers much more than Damon was able to. And Granderson's speed added to Gardner's at the back end of the rotation should keep pitchers' minds off the batter and on the two speedsters stealing bases. If Gardner gets his fair share of playing time, the two could easily get over 100 SBs this season which will put them in scoring position and you will see a jump in run production that way.
The other side of the Yanks' improvements for 2010 revolve around the defensive side of the ball. Granderson, Gardner, and Swisher are the best defensive outfield the Yanks have had since Bernie was in center. This terrific outfield compliments one of the best defensive infields in the game. Throw in a rock solid number four starter and you end up with a winning formula for the whole season. If everyone stays healthy the Yanks could follow this lineup to 110-120 wins.
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