While the yankees have more up and coming young talent than in recent memory, questions about their starting pitching will limit their ceiling. The Yankees have shed a lot of bad contracts and are working towards being a powerhouse via a new route. Help is on the way, but more is needed.

So, how do we get to the last three innings?

The Yankees may be able to shut down other teams in the 7th, 8th and 9th, but getting there will be a problem. Masahiro Tanaka sizes up as the staff’s ace, but can’t handle a heavy workload. Michael Pineda is slotted as the number two starter, but he should be a back of the rotation starter.

C. C. Sabathia pitched better last season. He finished the year at 9-12 with an ERA of 3.91. Durability is also an issue with Sabathia. Beyond that, a bunch of young guys, including Chad Green, Bryan Mitchell, Luis Cessa and Luis Servino will compete for the other slots. That doesn’t make for a lot of optimism.

If, by chance, the Yankees have a lead after six innings, Tyler Clippard, Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman should be able to bring it on home. Tom Layne and Adam Warren are around to help through the middle innings, though Warren may see some work as a starter. Overall, the staff looks middle of the road.

This could be interesting.

Gary Sanchez has mammoth power, but is a hit first catcher, launching 20 homeruns in 229 plate appearances.

While that’s not sustainable, it gives a glimpse of what he’s capable can do. Sanchez is a definite wildcard. Austin Romine is the prototypical defense first backup catcher. Brian McCann’s bat will be missed, if not his defense.

Well, at least they're getting younger

Chase Headley, while not a star at third, is a solid player.

Didi Gregorius showed surprising power as a shortstop, belting 20 homeruns. Oddly, he drew only 19 walks. .Gregorius is capable of making spectacular plays, but overall had a 0.0 WAR rating defensively. Second baseman, Starlin Castro, had a career high 21 homers, but his value is limited by a relatively low on base percentage and a below average defensive rating.

At some point, Gleyber Torres, acquired in last year’s trade deadline with the Cubs for Aroldis Chapman, could press Castro. First base will be manned by Greg Byrd or Chris Carter. Both have prodigious power. Whoever isn’t at first will get some time at DH.

Here comes the Judge, but is that enough?

Brett Gardner in left and Jacoby Ellsworth center are very similar players. Both have an offensive WAR of about 2.0 and defensive WAR of about 1.0. Not bad, but those numbers are starting to go in the wrong direction. Right field should be the domain of highly touted prospect, Aaron Judge. Whether he remains master of his domain remains to be seen. Judge’s biggest tool is power. It’s a needed commodity in the Yankees lineup.

Aaron Hicks figures to see action in all three outfield spots. He’s basically a glove first extra outfielder. More help is needed in the outfield.

Joe Girardi is a better manager than I thought

With all the hype about young Yankee players, I was surprised when I actually looked at their lineup. After realizing they won 84 games with last year’s roster, I came to the conclusion Joe Girardi is a really good manager.

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