Many Yankee fans and baseball analysts are heading into the 2018 season with World Series expectations of the Yankees. You can’t blame them after the run they made last season. However is it too early to assess this team?
Aside from Giancarlo Stanton, the New York Yankees are going into the 2018 Season with the same blueprint as 2017.
Yes, of course, you can say the Yankees should have Sonny Gray for 30+ starts in 2018 versus the 11 starts he had once joining them in 2017. Yes, of course, you would hope that Greg Bird can play in 148 games this upcoming season instead of just 48 games, which he played in a year ago. And yes, Jordan Montgomery now has 155 Major League Innings under his belt so he should only get better this year, right?
Let’s pump the brakes. This sounds like something the defending AL East Champions can also say. After all, aside from J.D. Martinez, the Red Sox are going into 2018 with the same blueprint. BUT, Rafael Devers who Yankees fans already know too well and who played in 58 games a year ago should play in 158 this season. And yes, David Price who had 11 starts last year could realistically have 30+ starts in 2018.
Then there are the Astros. You can argue the defending World Series champions improved more this offseason than both the Yankees and Red Sox. They may not have added a power bat to their already potent offense, but they could have Verlander for 30+ starts in 2018 versus just five starts in the 2017 Season. They also added Gerrit Cole who is only two years removed from his CY Young caliber season.
I’ll stop there but will say that I did not even mention the Cleveland Indians who had the Yankees on the brink of elimination in last years ALDS.
The Yankees have flaws, every team does. The addition of Giancarlo Stanton alone won’t bring them a World Series Championship, neither will the hope that Greg Bird is healthy or that Sonny Gray should have more starts this year than he did last year.
So what will?
The emergence of a player that doesn’t necessarily have a household name. See Chad Green.
The culture and the ability to play loose. See the TOEnight show and the thumbs down movement.
None of these events take place prior to the season starting, so let’s not jump the gun and declare ourselves World Series bound just yet, we still have a long way to go.
Regardless, these New York Yankees certainly have what it takes to win it all in 2018, but like any other team they have flaws that fans should not be overlooking.