This picture says a lot about the state of the New York Yankees, right? Robinson Cano might be the only player in the picture to start the season on opening night.
The Boston Red Sox will know very quickly if they are contenders or pretenders in the American League East by opening the season against the Yankees.
While the Red Sox have had a relatively quiet and mellow camp, save for the injury situation that continues with David Ortiz and Stephen Drew, the Yankees seemingly have had one thing after another go wrong starting last October with the injury to Derek Jeter.
Jeter is still struggling to recover this spring from a broken ankle suffered during last season’s playoffs. The Yankees announced that they will have to shut Jeter down for a couple of days to allow an anti-inflammatory shot to work on the area. Jeter may not start the season with the team.
This news comes on the heels of the announcement from Mark Teixeira that his wrist injury is far worse than was initially reported by New York, and will likely keep him out of action until mid-May — if not later.
With the Yankees already expecting to be without Curtis Granderson until May with a fractured right-forearm and Alex Rodriguez most of this season due to his hip injuries, the Yankees lineup will lack the power that has been their trademark in recent years.
With the free agent departures of Nick Swisher, Raul Ibanez and Russell Martin, the lineup that the Yankees field on opening night figures to look nothing like the team that took the field against the Detroit Tigers.
Even the Yankees pitching staff has struggled with the injury bug, between the back issues with Phil Hughes and the elbow issues with Boone Logan.
This figures to be a transitional season for the Red Sox and Yankees. Both teams are trying to get younger, while watching their spending to try and avoid the luxury tax. Both organizations have been burned recently by long-term investments (Carl Crawford and A-Rod).
This doesn’t immediately make the Red Sox a better team than the Yankees. It simply means that the Red Sox will have an opportunity to take advantage of an undermanned Yankees squad and a favorable early season schedule.
Boston needs to address their issues at shortstop with Jose Iglesias, whether to start the season with Jackie Bradley Jr. in the majors and changing the negative public perception of the team.
The American League East figures to be an extremely tight race between the five teams in the division and the Red Sox are in desperate need of a good start to the year.
It’s early, but the Yankees’ pain could be the Red Sox’ gain.