The 2009 starting lineup is going to be better then last year. There is no doubt about it. We all can say this guy is going to get injured..blah blah blah, but the truth is nobody really knows what will happen. As of now everyone looks to be healthy and ready for the 2009 season.
The constant injuries last season made the run production drop last year, and I just don’t see that happening again. The horrible hitting display with runners in scoring position didn’t help either. I look at it this way. Can it really get worse then it did last year? I mean A-Rod, Damon, Matsui, and Posada were out for extended periods of time. A-Rod wasn’t clutch at all. Melky was a huge disappointment. Cano wasn’t himself. Jeter didn’t have such a great season either.
Of course we lost Giambi and Abreu, but we added Mark Teixeira. Tex..along with a healthy Posada and Matsui should really be an upgrade from last year.
Johnny Damon, Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Hideki Matsui, Jorge Posada, Xavier Nady, Robinson Cano, Brett Gardner/Melky Cabrera
The rotation will be improved as well. On paper..it is arguably the best rotation in baseball. With three proven aces, one potential ace, and a No. 5 question mark. The 5th spot is still up in the air. It will most likely be given to either Pettitte or Mussina. Sabathia was the ‘07 AL CY Young award winner and pretty much carried the Brewers into the playoffs last season. Wang was the winningest pitcher in baseball in 2006 and 2007, combining for 38 wins.
A.J. Burnett is coming off one of his best seasons yet, and managed to stay healthy all year. He said Roy Halladay told him that he doesn’t need to throw his hardest all the time, but put more movement on the ball. A.J. said that was the main reason he was able to stay healthy last year.
Joba Chamberlain is a power pitcher with the capability of becoming a No. 1 starter. He was injured last year, but in the games he started..he was very successful. The last spot in the rotation will most likely be filled in by Phil Franchise or Pettitte. Pettitte was horrible down the stretch last year, but he was injured. I can see him putting up much better numbers next year if he came back.
Hughes can only be better. He didn’t record one win last year, and posted a 6.62 ERA. He came back towards the end of the year and dominated in the two starts he made. Phil also pitched really well in the Arizona Fall League. I only see things getting better for Phil in 2009. If he doesn’t improve..I will be shocked.
CC Sabathia, Chien-Ming Wang, A.J. Burnett, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes/Andy Pettitte