Three Reasons I’m Feeling Too Optimistic About This Season
As we get closer and closer to the regular season, I can’t help but be cautiously optimistic for the season ahead. Generally, I feel like I can be a bit more optimistic than many Yankees fans. So long as there is any chance they might win, I always hold out hope.
That being said, we all know the regular season is a marathon and a lot can happen between early March and October. Injuries, slumps, trades, even natural disasters can throw a wrench into any team’s plans.
Still, I’m can’t help but feel pretty optimistic about the team the Yankees will field come Opening Day. Here are a few reasons the Yankees have me looking forward to this season.
1. Release the Kraken!
Between his 2020 performance and the offseason drama about whether or not Gary Sanchez was told he was being benched during the playoffs, I was hoping for the best and preparing for the worst with the Yankees’ backstop. We have witnessed Sanchez’s potential, but it has been frustratingly missing lately and I worried the pressure might be getting to him.
So far, it looks like I was wrong. Sanchez seems to have the right attitude, putting last year’s troubles behind him and knocking three homers already this Spring. He put a lot of work into his hitting over the offseason and it is showing. The Yankees are going to have a few tough decisions to make with the lineup in the weeks ahead, but at least Sanchez is making a good case for keeping his spot.
2. Position battles give the Yankees some good options.
During the offseason, the Yankees seemed quiet for quite a while. I know that I was relieved once they inked DJ LeMahieu, but they also added some other intriguing position players, adding to the competition. Obviously, Brett Gardner has the fourth outfield position locked up, but veteran Jay Bruce is making a good case for his inclusion on the Opening Day roster. He’s hitting .455/.455/1.091 over 11 plate appearances.
Derek Dietrich is another outfielder not to sleep on this Spring, showing some good signs early. The Yankees look good in the outfield, but the infield does hold more questions, but we’ll save that discussion for another day.
3. Pitching additions.
Obviously, the big news last night was that Zack Britton needs elbow surgery to remove a bone chip. He is likely out for three or four months. This is on top of prospect Clarke Schmidt’s injury to start the season. He hasn’t started throwing as of yet, but should soon.
Despite these injuries, the Yankees look to have some strong pitching. Jameson Taillon and Corey Kluber, both new additions, have started the season well. Prospect Deivi Garcia has also impressed and is certain to play a role with the Yankees this season, regardless of being snubbed on the MLB Pipeline top 100 Prospects list.
It’s too early to get that bullish about the Yankees’ 2021 chances at winning the World Series, but regardless, I’m excited to see what the season holds for us.