AL East Featured MLB MLB Team News — 14 February 2011
The Yankees had a strong 2010 campaign, but were eliminated in the ALCS by the Rangers- earlier than many had expected. Their offseason was a disaster, as they lost out on the Cliff Lee sweepstakes and failed to sign a solid starting pitcher to slot behind CC Sabathia. To make matters worse, the Yanks lost longtime veteran Andy Pettite to retirement. Fortunately, the Yankees boast one of, if the not the strongest, lineups in the bigs, one made even stronger with the emergences of Robinson Cano and Brett Gardner.

The Yankees pitching staff on the other hand, could prove to be their Achilles heel. While Sabathia is s a solid ace at the top of the rotation and Phil Hughes showed major improvement last year, the supporting cast behind them is less than impressive. The Yanks will have to hope for some unexpected production out of the bottom of their rotation- or simply outscore their opponents every night- if they hope to be successful in 2011.

Key Additions: Russell Martin, Rafael Soriano, Pedro Feliciano

Key Losses: Andy Pettite, Lance Berkman

Lineup:

C: Russell Martin
1B: Mark Teixeira
2B: Robinson Cano
3B: Alex Rodriguez
SS: Derek Jeter
LF: Brett Gardner
CF: Curtis Granderson
RF: Nick Swisher
DH: Jorge Posada

Rotation:

1: CC Sabathia
2: Phil Hughes
3: AJ Burnett
4: Ivan nova
5: Sergio Mitre
CL: Mariano Rivera

Critical Players to Success:

CC Sabathia: Sabathia is the lone, proven, reliable starter on this staff and he will be under immense pressure to carry the workload for the Yankees this year. Any prolonged struggles by him and the Yankees could have some serious issues competing in one of the toughest divisions in baseball.

Phil Hughes: Hughes had a breakthrough season, finishing fourth in wins in the AL. He will, however, need to continue this success for the Yankees to be competitive this year as outside of Sabathia, he is the only pitcher in their rotation who projects to have an above average year.

Derek Jeter: The face of the Yankee’s franchise struggled in 2010 and faced a good amount of criticism during the offseason as a result. Nevertheless, he and the Yankees were able to reach an agreement on a contract extension and now the burden is on him to prove he was deserving of it and that he can still be the spark in this lineup that he has been for years.

Check out more 2011 Team Previews.

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