Critics of the Yanks often tag them as an aging team, one prone to breaking down and unable to weather the marathon that is a Baseball season. But does this really hold up to any scrutiny? Let’s start out by looking at the opening day ages of the Yanks starters, regardless of who’s currently on the DL.
Starting Position Players
RF-Nick Swisher 28/Xavier Nady-30
CF-Melky Cabrera-24/Brett Gardner-25
Opening Day Rotation
Chien Ming Wang-29
For typical Baseball players, 33 is a good cutoff age for players no longer being in their prime and their skills beginning to decline. In the rotation, only Andy Pettitte is above that age and he’s a proven workhorse who’s spent very little time on the DL in recent years. Of the Yanks starting fielders, 3 of the 8 are past that age and Damon and Posada occupy positions that you can get away with a player losing a step or two. DH is irrelevant, as long as the player can still swing the bat. Only Jeter, playing the most demanding and athletic position on the diamond, is a serious concern for age related decline defensively. The recent winning streak has shown that the Yanks can survive and even thrive in Posada’s absence, something the 08 team could not.
Now lets look at who’s been hurt so far this year. Here’s the Yanks that have spent time on the DL:
Chien Ming Wang-29
5 of the 8 are 33 or younger, so age doesn’t appear to be a determining factor here as well.
Finally, we often hear about how the Red Sox have done such a tremendous job of developing young talent, wheras the Yanks have not. Let’s compare the average age of the two rosters.
Average age of Yankees roster-28.3
Average age of Red Sox roster-28.4
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