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Yankees 2015 lineup preview

The face of the Yankees is no longer that of Derek Jeter. In his place, like it or not, is Alex Rodriguez.

It doesn't matter that A-Rod is now a part-time player, or that he hasn't seen regular-season action since 2013. He's the top paid player and still attracts more attention than anyone else in the lineup.

That's the trouble with this group. There's no rising star waiting in the wings. There's just a bunch of pricey veterans who made their reputations elsewhere mixed in with some budget-conscious stopgaps -- and Brett Gardner, who's been in pinstripes for his entire seven-year career.

Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran, the two most senior Yankee regulars, are past their primes and have battled injuries in recent years. It's probably too late for Beltran to turn back the clock, but Tex might have one more solid campaign left in him at nearly 35 years old. That's assuming good health, which is a risky proposition.

Centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who was solid but unspectacular in his first season in the Bronx, must be better. He's the one hitter left who still is capable of rising to MVP-caliber numbers. Catcher Brian McCann won't play like an MVP, but he can become an All-Star if his power numbers see a boost and he stays on the field.

The current middle infield is a far cry from the days of Jeter and Robinson Cano. Don't expect shortstop Didi Gregorius or second baseman Stephen Drew to combine for more than a .240 batting average.

At least third base figures to be reliable. Chase Headley won't approach MVP-caliber numbers like he did for the Padres in 2012, but he's got a solid glove, some power and can hit for a decent average.


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