The Yankees are the team of the future, but can they peak early? The Mets are the team of the present, but can they stay healthy?
Mark Teixeira said,“Realistically, I think this year is a year figuring out what you have,” the former Yankees first baseman turned ESPN analyst said on a conference call this week. “So you really want to know who the young pitchers on the staff or in the bullpen are, or in the lineup …
“I think the Yankees will be in the race into September because they still have enough talent. They have a very good back end of the bullpen. They have the talent to be there in the race. But if they start falling out, you’re going to see cheap Clint Frazier jersey get called up. You’re going to see cheap Gleyber Torres jersey get called up.”
Before there was Todd Frazier and Ramon Torres in the Yankees system, there was Sanchez, Greg Bird and Aaron Judge. The Yankees will be banking on those three young studs to help carry the lineup and makeup for a suspect starting rotation.
For the Mets, talent in the rotation isn’t the question. If Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey and Steven Matz can pitch a majority of the season, it is hard not to see the Mets as a strong challenger to the Cubs, Nationals and Dodgers in the National League. But that hope is not off to a good start, with Matz missing the start of the season with elbow discomfort. Harvey, however, showed signs of his old self as spring training went on, and Syndergaard and deGrom dominated from start to finish.
David Ross remembers what it was like going up against that Mets rotation at full strength, when his Cubs were swept by the Mets in the 2015 NLCS.
“You just you don’t get a break,” said the catcher, who wearing cheap mlb jerseys, retired after winning a World Series last season, and joined Teixeira on the ESPN roster.
“When you have that consistent pitching, you have that consistency of ‘I’ve got a guy that’s going to keep it under three runs.’ Even on a bad day they’re going to give up three. Their offense can really focus on manufacturing runs, and getting runs early, and giving it to that bullpen and a guy like [Jeurys] Familia (who is suspended the first 15 games of the season) who can shut it down at the end.”
Though Ross has taken on a front-office role with the Cubs, Teixeira has mostly stayed far away from baseball.
“I told the Yankees, please don’t ask me to come to spring training because I’ll feel bad saying no,” he said.
But Teixeira has helped nurture Bird’s development and stayed in touch with him throughout spring training. Bird was sidelined last season with a shoulder injury, but had an eye-popping spring with seven home runs, 13 RBIs and a .429 batting average.
“I could obviously relate to his [injury] frustrations,” Teixeira said. “But one of the things that me and Birdie always texted this offseason was trust. And we probably text every two weeks nowadays and just say, ‘Hey, keep trusting yourself, trust your talent, trust your health. You know you have the talent to do special things.’
“That’s what he’s doing. He’s going out there and playing the game. He’s not a guy that’s going to get caught up in New York, wholesale jerseys china. A lot of guys kind of make it in New York and then they stop working or they decide they’re going to be a Page Six superstar rather than a Yankee Stadium superstar. That’s not going to be Greg Bird. So I feel really good about his future.”