Meet the 2011 Yankees
Meet the 2011 New York Yankees roster.
Compiled by Jim Baumbach
JOE GIRARDI, Manager
Fresh off signing a new three-year contract, Girardi enters his fourth season as manager with more job security than ever. His biggest challenge will be navigating through the regular season with a questionable back end of the rotation.
RUSSELL MARTIN, Catcher
He’s coming off an injury-plagued season (only 97 games played) that easily ranked as the worst offensively of his once-promising career. But at only 28 years old, a one-year deal was a worthy gamble for the Yankees.
MARK TEIXEIRA, First base
Teixeira is determined to avoid his standard early season slump, especially on the heels of a season in which he posted the lowest on-base (.365) and slugging percentages (.480) since his rookie year.
ROBINSON CANO, Second base
Cano has blossomed into one of the league’s top all-around second baseman. In 2010, he set career highs in home runs (29), RBIs (109), walks (57), on-base percentage (.381) and slugging percentage (.534) while committing only three errors.
DEREK JETER, Shortstop
All eyes will be on Jeter this season and not just because he’s 74 hits shy of 3,000. He’s also coming off his worst offensive season (.710 OPS) followed by surprisingly acrimonious contract negotiations with the Yankees last November. He turns 37 in June.
ALEX RODRIGUEZ, Third base
Controversy-free for the first time in a long time, Rodriguez dropped 10 pounds in the offseason with hopes of improving his mobility at the plate and in the field. His .341 on-base percentage last season was his lowest mark since 1995.
ERIC CHAVEZ, Infield
Once the face of the Oakland Athletics, Chavez has been hampered by injuries, limiting him to just 154 games over the last four seasons. He’ll be the Yankees’ backup first baseman and third baseman.
EDUARDO NUNEZ, Infielder
Nunez has more pop in his bat and a greater longterm upside than Ramiro Pena, the utility infielder and emergency outfielder from a year ago.
GUSTAVO MOLINA, Catcher
Unrelated to the catch- ing brothers (Bengie, Jose, Yadier). But he has major-league ex- perience, the primary reason he replaces in- jured Francisco Cervelli.
BRETT GARDNER, Leftfield
In his first full season as a starting player, Gardner posted an impressive .383 on-base percentage, stole 47 bases in 56 chances and scored 97 runs. He also played a stellar leftfield, covering lots of ground while making only one error.
CURTIS GRANDERSON, Centerfield
The Yankees hope Curtis Granderson’s strong second-half surge carries over into this season, his second in pinstripes. Over his final 48 games, Granderson hit 14 home runs in 165 at-bats, posting a .564 slugging percentage during that span.
NICK SWISHER, Rightfield
He’s eccentric and craves attention in the clubhouse, but the Yankees are happy to live with his act as long as he continues to post offensive numbers like he has in his first two seasons here. His .870 OPS last season was second only to Robinson Cano.
ANDRUW JONES, Outfield
Once considered the game’s best centerfielder, Jones has lost too much range and strikes out far too often to be a regular. The Yankees will use him as a backup corner outfielder with spot starts against lefthanders, against whom he had eight homers in 86 at-bats last season.
JORGE POSADA, Designated hitter
This season Posada transitions from a full-time catcher to full-time designated hitter. It’s a role he hasn’t enjoyed in the past because of all the down time, but he put on a good front during spring training. He’s in the last year of his contract.
CC SABATHIA, Starting pitcher
A Cap’n Crunch-less diet helped Sabathia drop 25 pounds, which he hopes helps his durability in the wake of offseason knee surgery. The Yankees need him to be an ace now more than ever, considering this is the shakiest rotation they’ve had in years.
PHIL HUGHES, Starting pitcher
His 18 victories last season are somewhat deceiving considering Hughes’ ERA balloons to 4.98 ERA if you remove his first six starts. But the Yankees liked the poise the 24-year-old showed and expect him to continue developing into a front-line starter.
A.J. BURNETT, Starting pitcher
After getting spurned by Cliff Lee and watching Andy Pettitte walk away, the Yankees need Burnett to perform like the guy they thought they were getting when they gave him $82.5 million three off-seasons ago. So far he’s 23-24 with a 4.62 ERA in 66 starts with the Yankees.
FREDDY GARCIA, Starting pitcher
Two years ago, he was cut by the Mets in spring training, but Garcia rebounded last year, going 12-6 with a 4.64 ERA in 157 innings with the White Sox. It was the first season in which he logged more than 100 innings since 2006. Can he give the Yankees the same output?
IVAN NOVA, Starting pitcher
Nova showed enough in seven starts last season (4.91 ERA in 36 2/3 innings) to give the Yankees hope that the 24-year-old righthander can at least keep them in games as their fifth starter this season. He was 12-3 with a 2.86 ERA at Triple-A Scranton last year.
MARIANO RIVERA, Closer
Maybe he’ll be effective until he’s 50 years old? At this point you can’t rule anything out. Now 41 years old, Rivera has allowed fewer than a baserunner per inning in five of the last six seasons. He is 42 saves shy of 601, the record set by Trevor Hoffman.
RAFAEL SORIANO, Set-up man
Regardless of the internal dispute over the Soriano signing, this much cannot be argued: if Soriano pitches like he did last season with the Rays — .80 WHIP in 62 1/3 innings — then a Yankee lead following the seventh inning should equate to a victory on most days.
BARTOLO COLON, Reliever
Last pitched for the White Sox in 2009 (3-6, 4.19 ERA in 12 games). Perhaps the most impressive pitch- er during his spring training outings.
JOBA CHAMBERLAIN, Reliever
His role is no longer a question, as the Yankees have made it clear they view him as a reliever. The more pressing question now is whatever happened to Chamberlain’s velocity? He hasn’t been hitting the upper 90s regularly since he hurt his shoulder during the 2008 season.
DAVID ROBERTSON, Reliever
Once the calendar hit June last year, Robertson became one of the Yankees’ most effective relievers. He had a 2.58 ERA and held hitters to a .225 average during his final 45 1/3 innings. He’s hoping to find more consistency at the start of the season.
BOONE LOGAN, Reliever
The hard-throwing lefthander held left-handed hitters to a .190 average last season; only one of the 15 hits he gave up to lefthanders went for extra bases.
LUIS AYLA, Reliever
With lefty specialist Pedro Feliciano injured, Ayala got the nod as the last arm in the Yankees bullpen. The journeyman pitched for the Mets in 2008, and last appeared in a game in the Majors in 2009.