New York vs. Boston. No other words get Yankee and Red Sox fans more fired up. Boston, coming off a miserable 2012, will square off against an aging Yankees team on Opening Day in the Bronx. I recently had a chance to catch up with Fansided’s Yanks Go Yard Editor, Jason Evans. Here’s how my Q&A went with him.
In your opinion, did the Yankees make enough changes in the offseason to help increase their chances to win in 2013?
Nope. They lost a ton of home runs and RBI and replaced that with the Vernon Wells and Juan Rivera‘s of the world. Letting guys like Russell Martin, Rafael Soriano and Nick Swisher go I understood, but the injuries to guys like Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira may be too much to take.
What/who have been your most surprising upsides and let downs during this spring training season?
Brett Gardner has had a fantastic spring and really needed to to prove that he was healthy. No one has really disappointed me. It’s spring training. You can’t hold that much stock in it.
Key injuries impact teams both on Opening Day and beyond. What injuries, both short-term and long-term, will most hamper the Yankees’ ability to be successful?
The Yankees are old and really injured right now. I think the injury that will hurt the most is Teixeira’s because the team has really limited depth and couldn’t afford to lose anyone, let alone a first baseman.
What are the three keys to success for New York to compete for an AL East title in 2013?
They need to get injured guys back without setbacks and not lose any more players. Their pitching has to step up and carry the load. Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki need to be offensive catalysts.
Predict your AL East end of season standings and why.
1. Tampa Bay Rays – Too much good pitching and Joe Maddon will find a way with a healthy Evan Longoria
2. Toronto Blue Jays – The new guys come together and work well.
3. New York Yankees – Just enough offense to get by with really good pitching.
4. Baltimore Orioles – They’re a really good team, just may regress a little bit. Bullpen can’t be as good two years in a row.
5. Boston Red Sox – Not all of there new good guys will work out on a team with injuries and not enough pitching.
This division will be competitive all year long and it wouldn’t shock me if the difference between first and last is less than 10 games.
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