The Yankees' 2013 Season Depends Entirely on Pitch Framing

He looks exactly how I feel about the Yankees' 2013 season - The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

The offense, both with and without injuries, has taken a major hit this offseason. Pitching has become more important than ever. It looks like Pitch Framing, Defensive Sorcerer Chris Stewart must lead the charge to salvage this year. Panic

It's safe to say that the Yankees preseason can best be described by the REM song Everybody Hurts. Not too long after Curtis Granderson started Spring Training with an 8-10 week injury, yesterday first baseman Mark Teixeira was diagnosed with a strained wrist from swinging in the batting cage. Or sending too many Tex Messages. Or swatting a fly away from his face on a hot day. Or rabid badgers. It's not important how it got strained. What is important is that his wrist is apparently made out of Ritz Crackers and Crispy Noodles. While the initial report says that Tex will be out for 8-10 weeks, some are speculating that this is similar to the painful to watch Jose Bautista injury that crippled him for the rest of the Blue Jays 2012 season after July 16th. Wonderful. Wait no, that's not how you spell sonofabitch!

So where does that leave the Yankees' offense? Doomed? Naturally! I'm going to go with 'concerning' though. Barring anymore injuries, there is still the possibility for runs and ninja Cashman moves. There are still free agents out there. One of the rookies could pull a Robinson Cano and surprise us. Or the Yankees could trade one of Nova, Phelps, or D-Rob to get someone. Please do not trade anyone I just mentioned. There's still plenty of time to try and patch this mess up with some Gauze Sponges and tape, items I've had way too much experience with in the past year. I'd say they should try heading to his house and playing the Song of Healing on their Ocarina, but I'm pretty sure that won't work. Whatever they do, it's going to be up to the pitching to hold the line.

Believe it or not, this is actually meant to be a positive article. The reason I think the Yankees will be fine, knock on wood, is due to the fact that so far our pitching is looking strong. In the midst of yesterday's disaster laden injury news, Yankees' starter Hiroki Kuroda held the offensive juggernaut Dominican Republic to only two hits in three innings. He also struck out four batters. Kuroda pitched very well for the Yankees last year. Our current concerning offense almost demands that he does the same in 2013. Plus, all the tweeters love the hashtag #HIROK. He cannot let them down.

Also pitching well off the starboard bow; David Phelps. Phelps, or Phelpsy to Joe Girardi and Joe Girardi alone, has pitched two games this spring. Both games have been impressive. Phelps is young and he still has to work on his curve ball, according to him. Spring Training is obviously the perfect time to do it. When you consider the fact that Phil Hughes is not a guarantee for the beginning of the season, Phelps is the most logical choice to step up during that time. He showed the Yankees that he can be more than a long man/mop. Phelps can and should be allowed to start. It's sad that he'll most likely have to rely on others getting injured to warrant becoming a starter. I really hope they don't trade him. I cannot stress that enough.

Ivan Nova will be coming off a terrible year for him. A year in which he just could not get his pitches to work they way they did in 2011. It could have just been sophomore jitters. Well now he's a junior and it's time to start preparing for the future. Nova has amazing potential and needs to show it this year. As discussed up above, David Phelps is waiting in the wings and Michael Pineda is also looking to start for the Yankees one day. So it's time for Ivan Nova to show the Yankees whether he is going to be part of their future rotation or not. This injury ridden start of the Yankees' 2013 season will be a fantastic, albeit sad, time to do so.

Finally it comes down to CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte. I doubt most fans are worrying about Sabathia. The most concerning thing about CC is that he tends to start off slowly. Early in the year is going to be a pinstriped adventure all around. Do us a favor and start off strong, CC. Andy's return to the Yankees last year was very promising before he got injured. Pettitte's age is always a concern, despite my love of watching him pitch. He's not getting any younger. I still say we try and sign his son though. Who really needs their senior year of high school anyway?

It was clear from the start of the season that our pitching staff seems to be our greatest strength. It was clearly our greatest strength in 2012. The Yankees dealt with offensive injuries last year and still managed to make it to first place in the AL East, as well as the best record in the AL. There is definite cause for concern this year. Injuries are already popping up and the AL East looks to be a lot more competitive in 2013. We are getting Mariano Rivera back though. Our bullpen still looks solid. Mo's coming back. Also, we're getting Mo back. I'm still very excited about this year. It should be a fierce battle all year long. And despite everything that's happened, Greg Kirkland is still optimistic that the Yankees will be victorious and we shall sing Klingon war songs over blood wine and nachos. Or just nachos anyway.

You may have noticed that this article does not mention Pitch Framing at all. That's because I don't care that Stewvelli can frame the ball. At this point in time, I just want them to hit, provide adequate defense behind the plate, and do their best to not get injured! That's really all I ask.

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