This was set to be a future post, highlighting some of the key variables for the Yankees heading into 2009. However, with word of Jorge Posada being scratched from today's Yankee lineup due to soreness in his surgically repaired shoulder, it is more timely to post today.
As I mentioned in a post featured on fellow Yankee Blog, The Fowl Balls, Jorge Posada is the player I focus on as the key to the Yankees going deep into the playoffs in 2009:
The most important Yankee for 2009 is Jorge Posada. If he misses 100 games again, the Yankees will be in deep trouble, just like they were last year. There is no greater of a drop-off than from Jorge to his backup on the entire team.The news of Jorge being scratched from the lineup probably a routine part of the recovery process, but it does serve as a reminder of how fragile the Yankees lineup is without him. The Yankees can deal with the growing pains of Melky/Gardener at the bottom of the lineup with Jorge around, but combining those growing pains with 400 or more at bats from Jose Molina would be a nightmare. If Jorge has a legitimate setback in his recovery, the Yankees will have no choice but to make a move at catcher. Former Yankee Pudge Rodriguez is still available - lets hope we don't have to worry about that option.
What will it take for the Yankees to make a championship run in 2009?
Highest Level of Variance:
- Posada recovering from serious surgery and returning to form.
- Wang recovering from serious surgery and returning to form.
- Mariano recovering from shoulder surgery and doing what he does.
- A-Rod, Tex and CC should be great.
- Jeter, Damon and Matsui are regressing and will likely take a hit in their production, so they no longer qualify for the Superstar Production Expected" category. However, Damon is in a walk year, so that might bump him up a bit.
- The bullpen has PLENTY of options and will likely be VERY good.
- The Yankees only need Burnett, Cano, Nady/Swisher and Joba to be above average.
- Gardner/Cabrera and Pettitte should play slightly above replacement level and the Yankees should be happy.
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