By Steve Silverman
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Disaster is at hand for the Yankees in 2013.
Most discerning baseball fans knew that the Yankees were in trouble after last year’s postseason, when they barely outlasted the Baltimore Orioles and then got shut down by the Detroit Tigers in the American League Championship Series.
They looked tired and old at the end of that series, and they are far worse at the start of this season.
The Opening Day loss to the Boston Red Sox is bad enough, but the prospects for the first half of the season look dreadful.
You had to figure that CC Sabathia would be able to shut down a Boston Red Sox lineup that was fairly innocuous last season. However, they got to him for four second-inning runs and he lacked his usual power and confidence.
Sabathia is not a machine. He is going to have ordinary or unimpressive games from time to time. However, he’s going to end up with at least 15 wins. He is not the problem.
There’s only one player who the Yankees can count on to give them an advantage in any lineup comparison. That’s Jay-Z’s newest client, Robinson Cano.
Cano is a baseball superman who is capable of performing as one of the top five players in the league when he is on his game.
Cano must reach those heights this year because he doesn’t have much company in the lineup.
There’s no Mark Teixeira, no Curtis Granderson and no Derek Jeter.
Don’t put Alex Rodriguez in that group, because it’s not certain that he would help if he were in the lineup. There are too many question marks about what’s real and what’s fake when it comes to A-Rod.
This is simply an awful lineup. Kevin Youkilis works hard, cares and plays with energy, but he’s nothing like the player he was in his prime with the Boston Red Sox.
Brett Gardner is a decent backup outfielder, and he can fill in when needed. With Granderson out, his speed and glove are needed.
Eduardo Nunez is an ordinary player who is not going to help the Yankees win many games. It’s obvious that when Jeter comes back, he’s not going to have much range in the field. He slowed down quite a bit before he suffered his ankle injury last fall, but the Yankees will be a much better team when he is in the lineup.
Vernon Wells is not anything but a warm body at this point in his career. If he’s still with the Yankees by the fourth of July it would be a major surprise. His bat has slowed and he is an overall liability.
Jayson Nix is just another guy, and if the Yankees really believe that Francisco Cervelli is a winning major league catcher they are just fooling themselves.
The pitching may be palatable, especially if old man Andy Pettitte still has something left, but the power in the lineup is nearly non-existent, at least until Granderson and Teixeira return.
This is not a division-winning team. This is not a playoff team. This is probably not a .500 team.
They are still the Yankees, so expectations are high. But those expectations will quickly dissolve into disaster.
Baseball in the Bronx will be memorable this year, but for all the wrong reasons.
Will the Yankees be able to weather the early-season storm and recover when their star players return? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…