2006 New York Yankees Preview

Posted on Sabtu, 06 Februari 2010 |
2005 Overview:

The New York Yankees simply weren’t themselves for much of the 2005 season. The Bombers starting pitching proved spotty for much of the year while their offense regularly scratched and clawed for runs during the entire first half of the season. Newly acquired starter Randy Johnson struggled to become the power pitcher the Yankees had hoped for, while the rest of the pitching staff battled with constant injuries and poor starts.  Somehow Manager Joe Torre was able to keep his team in the mix of things until after the All Star break. And as the Orioles and Blue Jays began slumping in the second half of the season, the Yankees hit their stride.

Rookie 2nd baseman Robinson Cano (.297 14 62) provided the Yankees with an impressive bat and steady defense while 3rd baseman Alex Rodriquez (.321 48 130) assembled a stellar MVP campaign hitting behind Shortstop and Captain Derek Jeter (.309 19 70). Outfielders Hideki Matsui (.305 23 116) and Gary Sheffield (.291 34 123) also helped anchor the Yankee offense while 1st basemen Jason Giambi (.271 32 87 108 walks) rebounded from his admission of steroid use and a dreadful 2004 campaign. Giambi turned in an impressive offensive second half and forced fan favorite Tino Martinez (.241 17 49) to the bench despite Tino’s hot offensive production prior to the all star break.

Closer Mariano Riveria (7-4 1.38) proved once again why he is one of the most valuable closers in baseball appearing in 71 games while saving 43. And Randy Johnson (17-8 3.79 211K) finally settled in to provide some needed consistency in the rotation. The Yankees also caught some much needed “lightening in a bottle” from newcomers Aaron Small (10-0 3.20) and Chien-Ming Wang (8-5 4.02) while starting pitcher Mike Mussina was able to string together a number of quality starts in order to improve his overall record to 13-8. The July addition of Shawn Chacon (7-3 2.85) acquired from the Colorado Rookies for RHP Ramon Ramirez and Eduardo Sierra also provided some much needed help for the starting rotation.

The Yanks ended their season in a classic “fight to the finish” battling rival Boston for first place finally clinching the AL Eastern division in the final weekend series against the Red Sox.

The Yankees postseason didn’t prove quite as exciting as they lost to the Angels in 5 games exiting quickly in the first round of the playoffs.

Off Season Moves:

After a disappointing postseason, Steinbrenner and company quickly re-signed GM Brian Cashman and began focusing on the tasks at hand. First in line was extending leftfielder Hideki Matsui’s contract for another four years. Next, Yankee management added bullpen strength by signing free agents Kyle Farnsworth (1-1 2.19 16 saves) and Mike Myers (3-1 3.13) while trading for pitcher Ron Villone (5-5 4.08).

Yankee fans were also given a special Christmas present on December 21st when Boston free agent outfielder Johnny Damon (.316 10 75) agreed to terms as the Yankees new centerfielder. Free agents Octavio Dotel and Miguel Cairo were also signed while fan favorite Bernie Williams (.249 12 64) agreed to return - at least for one more season - as the team’s DH.

2006 Analysis:

The Yankees addressed some key bullpen concerns with additions of Farnsworth and Myers who will join Tanyon Sturtze (5-3 4.73), Aaron Small and Chien-Ming Wang as the bridge to Riveria. Dotel is coming off surgery but his save numbers (36 in 2004) have the Yankees hoping he is worth a chance. Damon finally gives the Yankees the leadoff hitter they have lacked for the past few seasons and will solve the defensive problems that eventually forced the benching of centerfield Bernie Williams prior to the all star break.

If both are healthy, Randy Johnson and Mike Mussina should have an easier first half then last season but the 4th and 5th starters for the Yankees may need some help - so expect Jaret Wright and Carl Pavano to receive some competition. It will be interesting to see just how Joe Torre fits Chacon, Wang and Small into the mix.

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