The expectations for the New York Yankees are normally set so high that exceeding them is nearly impossible. However, 2013 is a different story and a 10-7 start for the Bronx Bombers has fans feeling very optimistic about the season. With over $80 million currently on the disabled list, New York had to piece together an opening day roster. While the performance of their replacements has been invaluable, they will be relegated to the bench one-by-one with each big name that returns. The most encouraging sign for the Yankees has been that their key players have gotten off to exceptional starts. CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda have been great on the mound but they have been outdone by 40-year-old Andy Pettitte. Pettitte has been one of the best fantasy baseball pitchers thus far and is leading New York through turbulent times.
The 17-year-veteran has won his first three starts, giving up just five runs over 22.1 innings. Pettitte has been untouchable since he ended his brief retirement to return to New York. He’s been a revelation on the mound with a 2.68 ERA in 15 starts dating back to last year.
New York has hit the cover off the ball so far in 2013 with the second highest team slugging percentage in baseball. While Robinson Cano has led the charge offensively, their emergency replacements have gotten them to this point. It’s unknown whether Travis Hafner, Vernon Wells and Kevin Youkilis can maintain this level of success which is beginning to rival their best years from well in the past.
If reason and statistics begin to prevail and the resurrected Yankee bats go cold, pitching will be in the forefront for New York. Pettitte has proven that he can still pitch at an elite level even at an advanced age. Back spasms have affected when Pettitte has taken the mound but have had no bearing on his success once he gets out there. He has the third most wins in franchise history and the Yankees will need him to continue his winning ways.