New Year's Resolutions for the Yankees in 2015
The new year is almost upon us, which means so are New Year's resolutions.
It is a tradition for people to come up with changes they want to make in their lives, whether it be eating healthier, going to the gym more or quitting a bad habit like smoking. We all have areas in which we would love to improve.
So do the New York Yankees.
After not making the playoffs for two straight seasons, the Bronx Bombers need to make some resolutions of their own in 2015. If they do, perhaps this coming year will be better than the last.
While your New Year's resolution cannot (realistically) be to get younger, the Yankees' can be.
In fact, the much-needed youth movement has already begun. After being the second oldest team in major league baseball in 2014, the Yanks went out and acquired players like shortstop Didi Gregorius (age 24), starter Nathan Eovaldi (24) and reliever Justin Wilson (27).
They also saw Derek Jeter (40) and Hiroki Kuroda (39) retire, parted ways with Martin Prado (31) and Brandon McCarthy (31) and do not seem inclined to bring back Ichiro Suzuki (41).
With all of these moves, the Yankees have dropped to the fifth oldest team in the majors with an average age of 27.7 years. The only teams older than them are the Toronto Blue Jays, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
More progress in this department should be coming in 2015. Either Rob Refsnyder (23) or Jose Pirela (25) seem poised to win the starting second base job, and it is likely that lefty reliever Jacob Lindgren (21) will join the major league team at some point.
Getting healthy needs to be a priority for the Yankees in 2015. Whether that be through rehab, conditioning or just pure luck, the Bombers need to keep their key players on the field.
Last year was a disaster, with CC Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka, Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda and David Phelps all missing significant time with injuries. Kuroda was the only member of the Opening Day rotation to survive the season, forcing the Yankees to use fill-in replacements like Vidal Nuno, Chase Whitley, Shane Greene and Chris Capuano.
David Robertson and Shawn Kelley, both now gone, got hurt as well.
Outside the pitching staff, Carlos Beltran and Mark Teixeira had lingering ailments that clearly hurt them at the plate. Prado and Brian McCann had had some issues as well.
The Yankees are hoping that a new year will bring a new, clean bill of health.
Score More Runs
It may seem obvious, but the Yankees need to score more runs in 2015. It is as simple as that.
Despite several brand names and a star-studded, expensive lineup, the Yankees' offense was stagnant last year. The scored just 630 runs, good for 20th in the majors and fourth in the American League East.
Highly-anticipated free agent signings McCann and Beltran struggled all season, with the latter failing to crack 50 RBI. Alfonso Soriano was dreadful before being cut, and second base was a mess for New York all season as they sent Kelly Johnson, Brian Roberts and Stephen Drew out to the position.
Despite no flashy signings this time around (so far), the Yankees should be better off offensively in the new year.
Jeter was an all-time icon, but he he did not do much at the plate. If Gregorius can put up at least the numbers he did in 2013, that would be an improvement. Beltran dealt with nagging injuries last year, so the hope is that he comes back healthy and looking like his old self.
The same goes for McCann and Teixeira, with less focus on the injuries and more on just playing better.
The Yankees will also have Chase Headley in their lineup for an entire season as well as slugging prospect Refsnyder (presumably).
There are still a lot of ifs, but more offensive production should be a realistic resolution for the Yanks to meet in 2015.
All stats were obtained via Baseball-Reference.com.
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