New York Yankees Spring Training: 5 Players Who Are Sure to Shine
New York Yankees 5 Players Who Will Shine In Spring Training
The New York Yankees had the busiest offseason of any team in baseball. They made huge splashes with their outlandish spending spree. They brought in the Japanese phenom Masahiro Tanaka to be their ace one day. They signed Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran to bolster an offense that was depleted by injuries all last season. They finally replaced Russell Martin, who left for the Pittsburgh Pirates last season. They seem to be all-in to replace the memory of 2013.
That all starts with Spring Training. The Yankees will be playing at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida. There is a lot that is going to have to be addressed. Third base has a glaring hole in it thanks to the year-long Alex Rodriguez suspension. Second base is empty with the ghost of Robinson Cano. Derek Jeter is working his butt off to make it back in time to start off the season after missing most of last year with ankle injuries. Joe Girardi will do what he can to answer as many questions as possible.
As usual, the Yankees have high expectations coming into the season. The media will be all over them, the fans will expect perfection and the front office will expect nothing less. The microscope is back on the Bronx. Some players are sure to shine, while others can't cut it. These are five players who are sure to shine during this season's Spring Training.
Nick Villano is the New Jersey Devils writer for Rant Sports. He also adds to the site's MLB, NBA and NFL content. You can follow him on Twitter here.
5. C.C. Sabathia
C.C. Sabathia had by far his worst season last season. His ERA was a full run and a half higher than it was the year before. He registered his lowest wins above replacement of his entire career. He is coming into Spring Training having lost a bunch of weight, but he kept his core strength up. He has thrown more this offseason to make sure he has a much better season. Sabathia is out to show that last season was just a fluke down year in what could still be a stellar career in the Bronx.
4. Zoilo Almonte
Zoilo Almonte isn't a name most Yankees fans recognize. It isn't hard to figure out why. There are so many different big-name outfielders that he is bound to get lost in the crowd. The 24-year-old Dominican is on the Yanks' 40-man roster going into his fourth year. He got his first MLB action last season, hitting .236 in 34 games. Many are excited to see what this kid can do after his 2013 was cut short due to an ankle injury. He will show that there was a reason for people being excited about him.
3. Brian McCann
After the signings of Ellsbury, Beltran and Tanaka, Brian McCann seems to be the forgotten signing of the winter. The 30-year-old is coming in on a five-year, $85 million deal with a vesting option for 2019. He comes in excited to put on the pinstripes and is looking to provide another name for a long line of great Yankee catchers. He is going to come out of the gate hot. Expect it to continue right through April.
2. David Phelps
David Phelps is going one-on-one with Michael Pineda for the fifth and final spot in the Yankees rotation. I don't see Pineda getting out of Spring Training healthy. Phelps is going to impress the Yankees brass, and he could be a dark horse to help this team all season. He had a rough few games before going on the DL in July, but I feel like he has all the tools to have a bounce-back season.
1. Alfonso Soriano
If you ask most Yankees fans, I'm sure that most of them will forget Alfonso Soriano is still on the team. He was brought in midseason last year and helped turn around a floundering Yankees team. He is most likely going to be in the DH spot for most of the season, but he is going to be out to let everyone know he is still a force in this lineup.