Monday, April 1, 2013

New York Yankees Opening Day 2013

The New York Yankees will open their season on Monday afternoon against the archrival Boston Red Sox. The game is scheduled to begin at 1:05PM. The teams will be honoring the victims of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. The first pitch will be thrown out by Lou Piniella who will be receiving an award at the welcome home dinner Monday night following the game. Constantine Mauroulis will be signing the National Anthem. 75 West Point Cadets will unfurl a giant American flag. 
The pitching matchup will be CC Sabathia vs. Jon Lester. The teams will have an off day on Tuesday and then Wednesday and Thursday night will be the last two games of the series. The other pitching matchups in order are Hiroki Kuroda vs. Clay Buchholz and Andy Pettitte vs. Ryan Dempster.

The Yankees will be going with Kevin Youkilis at first on Opening day because it is a lefty starter. Jayson Nix will be at third base. Vernon Wells will be the regular left fielder for now. Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira are expected to be back in May, Teixeira believes he could be back May 1st, he will see a doctor on Monday and hopes to get his splint off. If he does indeed do that, it will be a sign that things are going in the right direction and maybe he is right that he will be back sooner then later. Ben Francisco could start at DH on opening day, Travis Hafner will be the DH against righties. He was scratched from the game on Saturday with some general stiffness. The Yankees said it is nothing to be concerned about. Brennan Boesch will also be on the bench for the Yankees. Eduardo Nunez will be the starting shortstop. It is the first time in a very long time that someone other then Derek Jeter will be at shortstop on Opening Day. I would expect him to be back towards the end of April.

Adam Warren and Cody Eppley got the final two spots in the Yankees bullpen. Phil Hughes is on the disabled list and may only miss the first time through the rotation. David Phelps and Ivan Nova are both in the rotation for now. Vidal Nuno will be in AAA but he is a guy to keep your eye on. He won the James P. Dawson award for best rookie in Yankees camp and has really opened some eyes. The Yankees designated Clay Rapada for assignment on Sunday. It was just a numbers game and they feel that they have other lefties such as Nuno that could step into that role. Boone Logan is their lone lefty right now. He isn’t just a situational lefty though.

The Yankees and Red Sox will be sporting very different teams on Opening Day. there is a huge loss of the usual firepower. The Yankees lost some guys to free agency such as Nick Swisher and Russell Martin and then they have Curtis Granderson, Teixeira, Jeter, Alex Rodriguez all hurt. The Red Sox are without David Ortiz and Jacoby Ellsbury got hurt late in spring. Youkilis is now a Yankee, Adrian Gonzalez is out west. Dustin Pedroia is the one big star left for the Red Sox while the Yankees have Robinson Cano.

It could be a very tight race this year, I don’t necessarily by the hype of the Blue Jays although I do think they are good. I think the Yankees are worse right now due to the injuries, Tampa Bay is always good because of their pitching. I think the Red Sox will be better but not that much better and the Orioles will be a little worse. I think the Yankees could still win the division and they could at the very least make the playoffs. I think they need to survive April and then start getting their guys back and they will be ok.

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