In my previous post I wrote that I expect the Yanks to push the 100 win mark in 2009. A reader very fairly commented that there are a number of potential pitfalls that could keep that number a good 5-10 wins below that 100 win mark. In response to that comment I thought I'd write about what I expect to happen in '09-
Damon and Jeter to hit 300 and score 100 runs.
Tex to hit at least 285 with more than 30 hr and 100 RBI
Arod to hit at least 300 with more than 35 HR and 110 RBI
Matsui to be healthy and post in the area of 285/385/485
Posada to post numbers in-line with his career norms and catch 100+ games (270/380/485)
Nady to hit 275/20/85
Cano to hit +/-300/20/85
Melky/Gardner to stay above the mendoza line and play plus defense.
This is what I EXPECT- I hope for more. If all we get is the expected numbers, we should be comfortably above 900 runs scored for the year.
As for the starters, I expect:
Pettitte will have no problem at worst duplicating his 2008 numbers. Andy pitched the second half with a mild shoulder strain that kept him from properly finishing his pitches and he therefore was up in the zone from August on. While a 3.75 ERA might be too optimistic for a guy on the wrong side of 35, I believe he will do better than 4.54 he posted in '08.
I expect CC to get off to a slow start. Everyone knows Carsten leads the universe in innings pitched the last 2 years, and if you look at his splits he is a consistently slow starter. As the Yanks have said they plan to bring him along cautiously in spring training, I think that slow start is a given for '09. After May 15th, however, I expect he'll be the best pitcher in the AL.
I expect AJ to make 25 starts and post a 4.00 ERA.
I expect Wang to be Wang; the best #3 in the game, challenge for 20 wins and have a sub 4 ERA.
I expect Joba to make 20-25 starts and have an ERA under 4.
I expect Phil Hughes to make 20+ starts and have a 4-ish ERA.
I expect the Yankee pen to be very solid and build off of last year's success.
I don't feel that any of my expectations for '09 are unrealistic; they are pretty much based on the back of the baseball cards for each player. I don't expect 35 starts from AJ (though he could surprise), I don't expect a 2.50 ERA from Joba (though, again, it could happen)- everything above should happen, and might be too conservative.
Granted (as evidenced last year!) injuries are the potential fly in the ointment, but short of limiting Joba and AJ's starts there is no way to forecast them.
Therefore, and based on the above expectations, I see 100 wins.
What do you think? Are any of my expectations unrealistic?