New York Yankees 2008

By jason keen
Updated: December 3, 2008

We are all well aware of the remarkable combination of speed and power this offense brings to the table finishing atop the AL in runs (968), on base percentage (.366), and slugging percentage (.463) and finishing 4th in stolen bases (123) in ‘07. Not too bad for a team that lead all of baseball with a team batting average of .290.

And, if they were to face pitchers on their own staff throughout the year, those numbers would be more then likely improve. Of their top 5 starters (Wang, Pettitte, Hughes, Mussina and Kennedy), their top 5 relievers (Chamberlain, Farnsworth, Hawkins, Bruney and Ramirez) and their closer Rivera, the Yankees have only one left handed pitcher, Andy Pettitte, whose opponents batting average for the last two years reads.284 and .286.

Hughes and Kennedy have a combined 16 career starts and neither has pitched a full season in the majors, while Mussina does not look like he has that many starts left in him. Just a few months shy of the big four-oh, a number Mussina hopes he can lower his era to this year. He is coming off a career worst 5.15 era with a .311 batting average against.

If the Yankees want to compete this year they will need their young guns, Chamberlain and Ramierez to learn quickly from veteran relievers Farnsworth, Hawkins and Rivera.
Rivera 38. Either way, unless the Yankees pick up another left handed pitcher they will not go deep in the playoffs, if they even make them this year.

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