In spring training, I posed 25 questions that I believed the Yankees faced going into the 2009 season. Here are those questions, with the answers as they have been determined at the midway point:
1) What can the Yankees expect from Jorge Posada? They need him to produce like a middle of the order hitter while being adequate behind the plate. Is his shoulder ready for the everyday grind?
Jorge has been very good, but did spend some time on the DL. it was an injury unrelated to his shoulder, and his arm has looked fine.
2) Who wins the CF job? Will Melky bounce back, or will Brett Gardner show a modicum of offensive talent? Might the Yankees give up on both and shift Johnny Damon to center?
Brett won it, Melky won it back, now they share it. Both have been very solid.
3) Does Girardi go with Nady or Swisher everyday in RF? Was Nady’s 2008 a fluke? What about Swisher’s?
He went with Nady until he was hurt. Nady’s 2008 is still a mystery, but Swisher’s was clearly a fluke.
4) Will Robbie Cano bounce back, or has he started a Juan Samuel/Carlos Baerga type dive?
He has bounced back, but has yet to take a step forward.
He has done a good job platooning, and the media seems to be warming to him.
6) Who will set up for Mariano? Marte? Veras? Bruney? Melancon?
Would you believe Phil Hughes?
7) Which was the real Jose Veras, the one who dominated over the first half or the one who stunk for the last two months of 2008?
The bad one.
8 ) Will Edwar Ramirez ever find a way to avoid being a homer or strikeout type of guy? Can he supplement his amazing changeup with another effective pitch?
9) Is Mariano Rivera healthy enough to continue asserting his dominance over the AL?
I am convinced that he can pitch until 50 if he so chooses.
10) How much do the Yankees get from their rookie relievers, David Robertson and Mark Melancon? Do they make the team out of camp?
Neither made the team out of camp. Robertson has been very good but has been used mostly in low pressure spots, and Melancon has shown some rookie jitters in his stints with the club.
11) How will the Yankees limit the inning of Joba Chamberlain? What do they do when he reaches his ceiling?
Joba has limited his innings on his own through short outings. The second question is yet to be answered.
12) Can Phil Hughes stay healthy enough to utilize his strong skill set?
So far, so good.
13) Is Ian Kennedy’s skill set good enough to succeed at the MLB level?
14) Was Derek Jeter’s rough 2008 due to an injured hand, or has he started to decline?
He is having a very strong year, and the new Stadium has given him a helping hand.
15) How will Alex Rodriguez deal with the questions about PED’s that are sure to surround him?
He ignored them. He did a good job about it too.
16) Who bats 3rd, 4th, and 5th? Does it go Teixeira, A-Rod, and Posada? Are Tex and A-Rod flipped? Does Matsui hit 5th?
Into the Blue buy It is Tex, Alex, and then a rotation. Expect Posada to be there for mot of the second half.
17) What kind of performance can the Yankees expect from the now chronically injured Hideki Matsui? Can he stay on the field?
He has needed some extra time off, but he has been very solid. He has spurts where he cannot touch the ball, and offsets them with crazy hot streaks.
Loose Cannons dvdrip 18) Will the Yankees bring in a veteran with some pop to be the utility infielder, or will the battle come down to Cody Ransom and Angel Berroa?
Ransom has stayed, but they did bring in Eric Hinske.
19) Can A.J. Burnett stay healthy while continuing to perform at a high level?
So far, so good. Fingers are crossed.
20) Will Andy Pettitte bounce back from a subpar 2008?
Not really. He started strong, but looks finished at this point.
21) Can C.C. Sabathia and Mark Teixeira live up to their contracts and handle the glare of New York?
I would say that both have been pretty good, but can give a bit more. That said, they have handled the NY spotlight with uncanny aplomb.
22) Will the Yankees go bargain shopping for an available Type A free agent, being that they would only need to give up a 4th round pick?
They did not.
23) How will the players deal with all of the controversy regarding Torre’s book and A-Rod’s steroid use? Will it be a major distraction?
The Way of War full movie The lack of credibility in both books really made the stories fade pretty quickly.
24) Who will be the long reliever? It seems to be a contest between Dan Giese and Al Aceves.
Albaladejo won the role, but Aceves has a firm grip on it at this point.
25) Who will be this year’s Scott Patterson and perform surprisingly well in camp?
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