The New York Yankees are entering the upcoming season looking more like the Bronx Bunters than the Bombers.
The Yankees lost an exodus of power this off-season in the likes of Nick Swisher, Raul Ibanez, Eric Chavez, Russell Martin and a potentially season ending injury to Alex Rodriguez, who even if he does return this season is no guarantee to regain his old power. The players lost accounted for 109 round-trippers in 2012 – approximately 44 percent of all Yankee bombs hit last season.
The Yankees led the American League with 245 big flies but will be hard pressed to repeat that feat unless they plan on moving the fences in at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees also added veterans Travis Hafner, Juan Rivera, Matt Diaz, Bobby Wilson and Dan Johnson but I have a hard time believing that list of waiver wire players will compensate for the loss in power. The new acquisitions combined for a total of just 48 home runs in 2012.
Joe Girardi and company will need big seasons from his squad of perennial performers to keep pace as well he may have to rely on small ball in an attempt to generate scoring chances unlike in years past where the timely home run was always looming.
One thing is guaranteed this season, the AL East is up for grabs as 2013 may be the year the power went out in New York.