Earlier in the week, I asked for submissions to our Yankees mailbag. We received plenty of questions in the comment section, and a few emails. I tried my best to respond to all of them.
Chad asked: Do you personally feel [the Yankees] will be better, worse, or about this same this season compared to last?
Unfortunately, I don’t think that this team is that much better than last year’s team. The rotation could be an absolute disaster. We don’t really know what to expect from some of the young players like Greg Bird and Aaron Judge. I do think that this team will be more exciting and fun to watch than last year’s though, so they have that going for them.
TommyJohn asked: Predict Richard Bleier’s MLB ERA! After last year, SOMEONE will give him a chance. I’m saying it’s over 5.
The Yankees did indeed trade Bleier to the Orioles after this comment was posted, so we’ll see if he sticks there. I’ll say 4.76. Remind me to visit this again in October.
repeater1990 asked: What non-Yankees baseball teams, if any, will you be rooting for in 2017?
I only root for the Yankees during the regular season. If the Yankees make the postseason and lose, then I will root against the team that knocked them out. If the Yankees don’t make the postseason, then I will take a look at the teams in the playoffs and go from there. I typically won’t cheer on any AL East teams.
eharlemplayer asked: Which Yankee, if any, is poised to have the best year of his career? Starlin Castro and Michael Pineda are entering their prime years and would be my choice.
I think Didi Gregorius could have his best year ever, especially since he has shown improvement over the past two seasons. We’d all love to see Pineda have a great year, but I have lost faith that he will ever pull it together.
Which Yankee, if any, has the best chance of having his last good year of his career? Jacoby Ellsbury? CC Sabathia? Chase Headley? Close your eyes and hope for a bullseye!
I could see this being the last good year of Sabathia’s career. After a few down years, Sabathia seems to have finally figured out how to succeed with reduced velocity and a degenerative knee condition. It isn’t clear if he plans to keep pitching after his contract with the Yankees expires, but it would be nice to see his chapter in New York end on a high point.
On a slightly depressing note, the Yankees will be in trouble if this is the last “good” year of Ellsbury’s career, since he is signed through 2020 with a team option in 2021.
Turn2intampa asked: Isn’t it time for Randy Levine to leave? First he insults the fans, now one of our young players after a contentious hearing.
At the very least, the Yankees really need to stop letting Levine make public statements of any nature. The Yankees won, Dellin Betances lost. There was absolutely no need for Levine to say anything negative about him. What Levine said served no purpose other than upsetting Betances.