Could the Yankees upgrades already be on the team?

Brett Gardner could be one of the Yankees biggest "upgrades" going into the 2013 season

Brett Gardner could be one of the Yankees biggest “upgrades” going into the 2013 season

As the offseason winds down, aside from the Alex Rodriguez drama and the small signings of Matt Diaz, Kevin Youkilis and Juan Rivera, the Yankees seem to be almost the exact same team as in 2012 minus a few losses. Nick Swisher packed his bags and went to the Cleveland Indians, Russell Martin did the same and rejoined former Yankees teammate A.J Burnett with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Raul Ibanez decided to take his bat to Seattle where he could end his career on a good note and Andruw Jones went to Japan, one of the few loses the Yankees won’t mind at all. However, as the 2013 season comes upon us, the Yankees look as if they hadn’t done much on the market. The 2013 team has been predicted by multiple fans that they will finish from either 2nd place – 4th place in the AL East.

The Yankees may look like the same old Yankees as the 2012 season, but there’s one small detail that the Yankees completely missed: some of the players that are ready to play this season, weren’t available last season due to injury or health issues. Some of the big names on the team spent quite some time on the DL and the reason that the Yankees didn’t make a deal with other players, is because they believe there’s someone on the team that can do the job better than someone on the market.

Brett Gardner – OF

Last season looked very promising for Brett Gardner. Once April came around, he was hot right off the bat. He looked as if he was going to bounce back from his so-so 2011 season–until injury struck. Gardner was unsure what was going on with his elbow. At first he went on the DL believing that 15 days later, he would be back to help the team. Once he started to swing a bat again, he felt the pain again. The Yankees tried to rehab him for a third time and he still felt pain in his elbow. A concerned Gardner was then sent to a surgeon to see if there was something wrong with his elbow. Alas, the young outfielder once again needed surgery. Gardner is now back for the 2013 season and this time he’s healthy. In the 2010 season, he proved that he was a starter, but his most impressive stat was his stolen base numbers. Although his hitting was down in 2011, Gardner outdid his stolen base numbers from 2010, going from 47-49. A healthy Brett Gardner can steal bases, is the only Yankee that truly knows how to play small ball and can work the count with his impressive patience at the plate. No need for Michael Bourn. Brett Gardner is already an upgrade from what’s on the market.

About Delia E.

Delia Enriquez is the managing editor of Yankees Fans Unite. She enjoys analyzing the New York Yankees whether it be their pitching, roster or their manager. You can follow her on twitter @dfiregirl4 for more tweets, analysis and opinion on the Yankees.

Posted on February 1, 2013, in Analysis, Personal Opinion and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 30 Comments.

  1. The upgrades on this team are as follows:

    1) OF defense…..full year of Brett & Ichiro will save a lot of runs over Ibanez/Swisher
    2) About 10 players playing for contracts in 2014 will provide a lot of motivation
    3) Bullpen could be excellent…Soriano is gone but Mo, Joba & Aardsma should be healthy
    4) Starting rotation seems strong
    5) Much better team speed……Brett, Ichiro & Nunez could provide 100 SBs combined
    6) Youkilis could surprise as i think he’ll have a bounce back season
    7) Tex has to improve as he played ill/hurt much of last yr

    • fishjam, the keys to this years team the pitching and improved defense. This will mean the Yanks won’t have to score as many runs to win. This team also should hit better with runners in scoring position which was the Yankee downfall last year.

      • It’ can’t be any worse from last year with the RISP.

      • A lot of the same people who complained about to many HR’s last year should think this team should be better. Of course the majority of them are not and are proving to be hypocrites, but I was certainly not one who complained about that last year.

        • Who cares how they score as long as they score and win! Last years team BROKETHE FRANCHISE HR RECORD! Lets cut them some slack.

        • Matt, if anyone ever complained about too many HRs, they were a fool. A HR is the best result a player can have in baseball. What many people didn’t like about last year’s team is that they weren’t a well-rounded, dynamic offense who could score in multiple ways. It wasn’t “HRs are bad”…it was “HRs or nothing was bad”.

          Last year’s offense:

          – Struggled getting big hits when needed (10th in AL wRISP)

          – despite a great bullpen, were just 22-25 in 1-run games and just 1 win when trailing after 8 innings

          – Team speed and baserunning were poor…22nd in Stolen Bases and last in Triples after being 3rd & 7th in AL in 2011

          The 2009 team hit the same amount of HRs (244 to 245) but also had a great BA & OBP, could run the bases, hit w RISP and were NEVER out of a game (18 walk-off wins?) because they could put together rallies seemingly whenever they needed them.

          • fish 2009 we had clutch hitters like Damon and matsui

            • Twasp – You are right. That team had an awesome, dynamic and DEEP offense.

              8 of the starters had an OPS of .850 or higher. The 9th player was a platoon of Melky and Gardner. They were both great contact hitters who could run and play defense and who were great in the clutch.

              The 2012 team hit 1 more HR but were not even CLOSE to that 2009 lineup. They were a good mix of vets with 1 last big year(Posada, Damon, Matsui), studs still at top of their game (Jeter, ARod), new additions to the team in their prime (Tex & Swish), and up and coming young players to provide fresh legs and energy (Melky, Cano & Gardner).

              • fish good description of the 2009 team.why did Cushman break it up?

                • Let’s not forget that A-Rod and Matsui carried that team to win the series, and Melky took a nose dive in Atlanta a year later. Matsui and Damon never had good years after 2009. Time is a players worst enemy as with all of us.

  2. fish _ what about Robertson in the BP?

  3. I like krob , mo and Jeter for big years. pitching is solid. this could be a championship team

  4. who is going to dh against lh pitching . Nunez?

  5. if jeter recovers v,.100% and improves his hitting against rh pitching..I think he could challenge Ted Williams 400 ba

  6. looks like we won’t be watching Aroid Chase the HR record but we still have Jeter chasing Rose!

  7. Urban bloggers, good evening. Some form of mild excitement recently?
    Yes, but…..the team is still short 120 HR, from last years squad.
    That bothers me. This is not a small ball town. Not this team.

  8. Patrick . who is in the 120 number?

    • rocky Twasp…

    Selected Promos & Giveaways for the 2013 season:
    4/11 Opening night vs. Flying Squirrels…..Logo baseball
    5/7…..Dollar dog night
    6/25…..Dollar dog night
    7/4…..Thirsty Thursday! There you go!…Stay thirsty my friend.
    8/11…..Thunder foam fingers

  10. Patrick – figure Gardner,hafner and itchy will get around 35 and youk gets 15. New catcher and Rh dh say 20 with rest of bench 5. for total of 75 ….. 45 less than last season.

    but we will add 100 stolen bases which will result in 30 runs incremental.

    and we can prevent 15 more runs with improved defense (Gardner and itchy)

    for a total wash. maybe.

  11. fish . – why hasn’ t Youk returned Jobas call.?

  12. wrong Doug ……check Matsuis numbers in 2010 ops+ and he played outfield after Cushman said he couldn’t walk. Matson was willing to take a one year deal. we had a good shot at a 2010 championship and Cushman pissed it away.

    • Matsui’s WAR went from 2.3 to 1.4, I call that a declining player. I would think that all of this years Yanks will have a better than a 1.3 WAR except for their catcher.

  13. his ops was higher and at YS it would have been higher.he was not washed up in 2010 and would have still been a clutch hitter. bad move not to sign him for one year

  14. Doug this is not hindsight on t-wasp part. he was against the moves when they happened. fish or Ken can vouch for it.

  15. correct Doug this is the first they are testing for hgh. they caught arod for boil . most juicers switched from anabolic steroids to hgh that is why it’s highly likely that Arid along with melky and Manny and Ortiz and Braun are guilty.they thought they could beat the system by switching PEDS.

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