Opening Day Around The Corner: What Have Our Players Been Up To?

The New York Yankees are getting ready to play the final 2 games of Spring Training before packing it up to New York where the weather is cooler than in Tampa Florida. The Yankees had changed there mechanics, gained new teammates and have lost some old ones. Let’s take a look at what the staring Yankees had been up to.

Derek Jeter: There has been a lot of talk around Derek Jeter during this Spring Training. Starting with Hank Steinbrenner making the comment that some people need to stop “building mansions.” while Jeter is the only one who actually owns a mansion. Jeter was able to shut Steinbrenner up by putting up excellent numbers during Spring Training. Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long had spoken to him about his stride and how to lessen it, which has done wonders for Jeter. Making headlines lately had been both Jeter and Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner, on who will be the lead off hitter. Girardi had came up with the solution that Jeter will bat lead off against left hand pitching. It looks as if Jeter is ready to bounce back after a bad 2010 season which will be a sigh of relief to Yankee fans.

Mark Teixeira: Teixeira had one goal in mind, to turn his slumping from April to March. If Tex is trying to slump in March, it’s not working. He is having a great Spring, and hopefully that same attitude that he has in Spring Training will go beyond into the season. Despite him firing his agent Scott Boras, there hasn’t been much on Tex this Spring Training, which is pretty good.

Alex Rodriguez: If there was someone who had opened eyes during the course of Spring Training, it was Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod has been a home run hitting machine during Spring Training, but people are wondering if he should save all of his energy for the regular season. For the first time since Rodriguez’s hip surgery, he was given the OK to work out at 100%, and Rodriguez had slimmed down since last season. A-Rod’s goal for this season? To bat at least a .300 because as he nicely commented, he is NOT a .270 hitter even though his home run and RBI numbers were amazing.

Robinson Cano: After coming off a MVP type seaosn in 2010, it seems that Robinson Cano is having a tough time getting started. Only batting a .250 average since the beginning of Spring Training, Cano has been heating up towards the end of Spring Training, hitting his second home run during the Twins 7-6 win yesterday. Even though it’s not looking good for Cano right now, there is no doubt he will be on fire during the season, which I predict he will hit 25-30 homers and have approximatley over 100 RBI’s.

Jorge Posada: Our favorite catcher, but he had been stripped from his title and now takes on a new role: DH. Numerically Posada has one of his worst averages this spring, but on the plus side, his on base percentage is where it needs to be. Posada had played some first base during the season when Mark Teixeira was not in the lineup, and even though at first he looked uncomfertable, he seemed to have been looking more comfertable as time went on, but during the regular season first base is Tex’s. In the final year of his contract, Posada said that he would like to put up good numbers for the Yankees to consider him for another contract in 2012, in which Posada believes that if the slight chance the Yankees dont’ want him back he will look for another team. Let’s just get through the season first before we get into the off season okay Jorge?

Curtis Granderson: The Grandy Man can right? Curtis had put up his best Spring Training numbers ever with a .385 average and if Grandy was making a speech, he would be thanking Kevin Long for the tutorial. Grandy’s swing had taken an effect on him, with him hitting 3 home runs. Unfortunately Granderson’s Spring Training was cut short when he suffered an oblique injury during batting practice, with it being uncertain if he will play during the home opener against his former team, the Tigers. Hopefully Grandy can take the swing into the regular season as soon as he gets better.

Nick Swisher: Well, depsite Swisher getting married to Joanna Garcia during the off season, there’s not much to say about the Swishalicious. He’s having a so-so Spring Training, but he is doing well. The most interesting thing about Swisher? He knows how to make the fans, and his teammates laugh. Examples? To catch a fly ball, he jumped into the bullpen and let it fall next to him, earning him chuckles and a talking to by Girardi. Practically what Girardi said was, “That was the best attempt I have ever seen. Don’t do it again.” Besides being the Yankees class clown, he is doing well, but the fans want to see break out numbers from Swisher in the 2011 season.

Brett Gardner: Oh, Mr. Gardner’s spring training. While his average is a mere .255, his on base percentage is a astounding .375 and with 4 stolen bases so far. One thing that might be helping Gardy out though is that he had tweaked his swing. While being laid up during the off season recovering from wrist surgery, Gardner had called Kevin Long and asked him to help him with his swing, which Long commended Gardner for coming to him instead of the other way around. Gardner’s new swing has both his hands on the bat, which worked out well, since Gardner already has his first home run of the spring. The one thing that Gardner is trying to work on is his bunting. While it has improved, he is still frustrated that he is not getting on base with it, but is working hard on it which shows. Gardner was also rewarded with being the lead off hitter against right handed pitchers while Jeter takes over for left handed pitchers.

Russell Martin: Welcome to the Newest Yankee, Russell Martin who was acquired after spending last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Martin will be the catcher for the New York Yankees, which is why Posada is the DH, makes sense now doesn’t it? Not much to say about Martin except he does well behind the plate, and he seems to work the best with A.J Burnett, since he is one of the only catchers that can catch his crazy curveballs. Martin’s average is so-so with a .250 average, but his on base percentage .368 which means he gets walked…a lot. Russell Martin is doing well with the Yankees, the fans would just like to see all that get into the season. Though we haven’t seen much, we believe Russell Martin is a valuable asset to the Yankees.

With the Yankee hitters all getting into there groove for the season, the Yankees had been looking for 2 pitchers who could be in the rotation ever since Andy Pettite had reitred. Here is the official starting rotation for the Yankees.

1. CC Sabathia
2. A.J Burnett (Moved to the number 2 spot)
3. Phil Hughes (Promoted from the number 5 spot)
4. Ivan Nova
5. Freddy Garcia

The Yankees new long man is Bartolo Colon, in which the Yankees traded Sergio Mitre for Chris Dickerson from the Brewers.

Yes the Yankees are getting into full gear this spring and prepare to take all of there hard work into the season. Will the Yankees win a 2011 World Series and get there 28th pennant? Who knows, but from the looks of things this team is looking really good.

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