Monday, April 17, 2006


I'd like to take this time to make my predictions for 2006. I'm going to cautiously predict us heading into the playoffs as the favorite to win the World Series. I'm not going to predict the playoffs, because they are truely a crapshoot. But I think that we do have a legit shot this year.

AL East - Yanks / Sox / Jays / Rays /O's
AL Central - Indians / WSox / Tigers / Twins / Royals
AL West - A's / Angels / Rangers / Mariners
AL Wildcard - WSox

NL East - Mets / Braves / Phillies / Marlins / Nats
NL Central - Cards / Brewers / Astros / Cubs / Reds / Pirates
NL West - Giants / Dodgers / Rockies / Dbacks / Padres
NL Wildcard - Braves or Brewers

On the Yankees, I think that we will see a fairly similar trend to last season - but with a higher starting point. Last season, the Yankees fell into a big hole, but climbed out by playing like a 105 win team after they fixed their pitching problems. This season, I see the Yankees struggling with the back end of their rotation, but not nearly as much as last year, and then they will start sailing like they did last season once the kinks are worked out.

Right now, we are lucking out. We have so many off days that we have a chance to work out the kinks. Randy Johnson is getting extra starts. The bullpen is being rested. We don't need to start Jaret Wright every 5th day. But that will change. Our May schedule includes a total of 8 games against the Red Sox, with 5 of them in Fenway. The kinks have to be worked out by then.

Shawn Chacon may need to be replaced. I am willing to give him a couple more starts to turn things around, but as of now I am going to assume that he is a problem that needs to be fixed. We have a lot of options. Carl Pavano is almost certainly one. I am cautiously predicting that Pavano makes all of his starts following his return from the DL and pitches to an ERA of around 3.90-4.10. Pavano has the added bonus of being an innings eater when healthy, which will do good things for our bullpen. Other options include Scott Proctor, Aaron Small, Matt DeSalvo, Darrel Rasner, and a mid season trade. For once, we have a surplus of tradeable assets which do not include our big gun prospects (Duncan, Hughes, Tabata).

By June, I predict that we will be sprinting to wins. We've have settled on five starters. Dotel will be back, improving our bullpen. Hopefully Wright and any other struggling pitchers will not be clogging our roster. If Bernie continues to struggle, we will hopefully find another DH. Things will fall in to place.

Come September, hopefully we will have a fairly safe hold on the AL East, and we will get to see the likes of Melky Cabrera, Eric Duncan, T.J. Beam, Steve White, and others when they get their September call-ups.