The Yankees have long been considered an older team, dependent on aging veterans to succeed. However, as NoMaas notes, Brian Cashman has been doing everything he can to change that culture:
“We have to get back to doing what made the Yankees so good for such a long period beginning in the ’90s,” said Cashman. “We’re in the position we’re in because we stopped developing our own young players.”
“… storm clouds are on the horizon if we keep just staying old,” Cashman said. “You’ve got to reinvent yourself with youth and mix them in with the veterans, instead of going all veterans.”
And look at the results since he re-signed and was giving “full authority.”
Average age of Yankee pitchers
2009: 29.3 (which happens to be the average age of pitchers on the ’96 team)
Average age of Yankee hitters
This is a great trend.
It really is a great trend, and the Yankees will likely be even younger in 2010, with Nick Johnson and Curtis Granderson replacing Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui. Now, some of the decreased age among pitchers is concentrated in the bullpen, but the Yankee rotation is no longer particularly old, with only Andy Pettitte nearing his twilight and Hughes and Chamberlain waiting in reserve to take rotation spots.
Are the Yankees still dependent on some older players, such as Jeter, Rivera, Posada, and Pettitte? Certainly. But they are no longer built solely upon elder statesmen. They are starting to blend in some younger players, and hopefully will continue to do so in the next decade. With Brian Cashman in charge, this is a trend that is likely to continue.
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