Why the Yankees Will Win the AL East
By Guest Blogger Kyle Howard:
After about a month since opening day their have been some big surprises in the MLB this year. The Red Sox’s were perennial favorites to win the World Series and started the season 2-10, Josh Johnson may have already solidified himself the NL Cy Young with 3 straight starts of taking a no hitter to the 6th inning, and are the Giants the team to beat in the West?
Every year is a new surprise but this year I feel something different in the air. The Yankees for the first time in years are the underdogs in their own division. After the rough start to the season for the Redsox, many Yankee fans started to think that the Redsox’s aren’t as good as advertised. Here are my 5 key main reasons why the Yankees will maintain their lead in the AL East.
1) The Resurgance of Russell Martin: Russell Martin was a low key move by the yankees this offseason. With an aging Posada, the Yankees were looking for experience behind the plate. Russell isn’t only a superior defender than Posada but he is as hot of a hitting catcher in the MLB right now with staggering numbers. If Russell can continue to produce at this rate look for him to be in discussion for comeback player of the year in the AL and being a key part of the Yankees success.
2) Bartolo and Garcia: Many questions were asked pertaining to the back end of the yankee rotation this season with the loss of long time great Andy Petittee. Bartolo Colon has become a strike out king and looks to become not just a flame thrower like he use to be but actually working around the plate. Freddy Garcia has fit in nice as well as the 5th day starter with 2 solid starts. Phil Hughes struggled in his first couple of outings and is currently on the 15 day DL. It will be interesting to see what happens when he returns.
3) Joba to Soriano to Rivera: This is what the yankees hope for, if the starter can last til the 7th inning and have it go Joba for the 7th, Soriano for the 8th and Rivera to close, 9 times out of 10 they win. Joba and Soriano have struggled a little this year with their control but look for them to rebound with continued play time. Rivera is the best closer baseball has possibly ever seen. Let the rest of the AL beware with the yanks having the lead going into the 7th.
4) AJ Burnett continues to improve: Lots of speculation were around the Yankees this spring training, not more important than whether or not AJ Burnett could rebound from his down year last year. AJ has gotten off to a good start this year and has shown more control. If Burnett can continue to be as effective as the start look for th yankees to continue to prevail.
5) Playing with a chip on there shoulder: The yankees have always been the high spending offseason team that always expects a World Series championship. After losing the bidding war for hot free agent Cliff Lee and allowing Boston to acquire Crawford, GM Brain Cashman was highly criticised for not making the big block buster move but instead made small moves to help improve an already star studded team. Lets hope that they keep the momentum and make it back to the world series.