Posted by beaston26 on 1st November 2011
Even though they exited in the first round playoffs, the 2011 has to be viewed as a successful campaign for the New York Yankees. Prior to the season, everyone and their mother had the Boston Red Sox winning the AL East. The Yankees were not even a lock to secure a Wild Card bid. Armed with a makeshift starting rotation (C.C. Sabathia, Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia, rookie Ivan Nova, and the erratic A.J. Burnett) a few slumping players (Jeter, Swisher, Teixera), and injuries (A-Rod, Jeter, Soriano), the Yankees managed to overcome the odds to win the division.
The 2011 season was special for reasons other than the division crown. Two of the franchise’s most celebrated players recorded signature moments over the course of the year. Derek Jeter went 5-5 in a game in which he hit a home run for his 3,000th career hit. Mariano Rivera converted his 600th save as well as the career mark for saves with 603. All players that endured lengthy slumps managed to right the ship. Mark Teixera’s batting average was a far cry below his career average, but he managed to tie his second highest mark for home runs with 39 and was a run producing machine. Jeter broke out of his slow start in a big way to finish just shy of a .300 batting average. Nick Swisher also bounced back in a big way after seeing his average sit in the low .200’s in June. Curtis Granderson rebounded strongly from a disappointing 2010 season with MVP caliber numbers. Granderson lead the AL with 41 home runs on the year. Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia delivered very impressive years disproving the critics who said they were done. Ivan Nova burst onto the scene going 16-4 and is a top candidate for AL Rookie of the Year.
The 2012 season could be the beginning of a transitional period for the New York Yankees. Jorge Posada was slowly phased out during the course of the year and Jesus Montero appears to be the future at catcher. Despite the revivals of Garcia and Colon, they are not at all long-term answers in the rotation. Pitching is definitely a necessity this off-season. Nova should not be counted on to deliver the same performance in his second year and Phil Hughes has a history of injury concerns. The Yankees appear to be set with their current roster of positional players, but someone to spell Alex Rodriguez in the field should be brought in as he moves closer and closer to a full-time designated hitter.
Bright Spots: Curtis Granderson, Ivan Nova, Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon, Mariano Rivera, Nate Robertsom
Disappointments: Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada, Rafael Soriano, A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain
Tags: A.J. Burnett, Alex Rodriguez, Bartolo Colon, Boston Red Sox, C.C. Sabathia, Curtis Granderson, Derek Jeter, Freddy Garcia, Ivan Nova, Jesus Montero, Joba Chamberlain, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, Mark Teixera, MLB, Nate Robertson, New York Yankees, Nick Swisher, Phil Hughes, Rafael Soriano
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Posted by beaston26 on 1st November 2011
Despite missing the postseason for the fifth consecutive season, 2011 was a success for the New York Mets. A change in club culture has set the Mets on the right path to have success in the near future. Entering the season, the club’s pitching staff was in complete disarray and there were question marks all around the diamond outside of David Wright and Jose Reyes. Even they weren’t rock solid with their injury history in recent years. The Mets managed to hang around .500 for a majority of the year despite not having Carlos Beltran, David Wright, and Jose Reyes for stretches. The result was optimism at the end of the year when they finished 77-85. The emergence of some young players on the team shows signs of a new beginning. New General Manager Sandy Alderson and Manager Terry Collins definitely put their stamp on this Mets team. Alderson made some crafty moves in acquiring Chris Capuano be an innings eater and prized young arm Zack Wheeler from San Francisco in a trade for Carlos Beltran. Collins managed wonderfully, getting the Mets to play hard and focused throughout the season, something not associated with the organization in recent years.
With Collins at the helm, Jose Reyes enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career. Reyes had over 10 triples by July and was lead the league in batting. He may have finished with better numbers had a reoccurring hamstring injury not forced him to miss extended time. Several young players had breakout seasons for the Mets. Ike Davis and Daniel Murphy were tearing the cover off the ball, but both had their seasons end prematurely with injuries. A position must be found though for Murphy as he continues to struggle wherever they put him on the field. Also providing a spark were middle infielders Ruben Tejada and Justin Turner. They often worked counts, got on base at the top of the lineup, played sound defense, and filled in for Reyes admirably when he was on the shelf. Lucas Duda also found his stroke, but it remains to be seen where he projects in the field (outfield seems most likely). David Wright missed a prolonged period of time due to a stress fracture in his back, but came back strongly at the plate when he finally returned.
The main focus for the 2012 Mets is ensuring that the dynamic Jose Reyes is penciled in at shortstop and leading off for the foreseeable future. Tejada is a decent replacement, but he is no Reyes by any means. The Mets are strapped for cash because of owner Fred Wilpon’s involvement with ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff, but Reyes should be brought back by any means. Returning some injured players to health coupled with further development of young players could make this lineup a very potent one (especially with the fences at Citi Field being brought in). Upgrades in the starting rotation and bullpen are a necessity if this team really wants to compete, but financial limitations may postpone that for another year or two.
Bright Spots: Lucas Duda, Daniel Murphy, Jose Reyes, Ruben Tejada, Justin Turner, Chris Capuano, Ike Davis
Disappointments: David Wright, Jason Bay, Angel Pagan, Josh Thole, Bullpen, R.A. Dickey
Tags: Angel Pagan, Carlos Beltran, Chris Capuano, Daniel Murphy, David Wright, Ike Davis, Jason Bay, Jose Reyes, Josh Thole, Justin Turner, Lucas Duda, MLB, New York Mets, R.A. Dickey, Ruben Tejada, Sandy Alderson, Terry Collins, Zack Wheeler
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