C.C. Sabathia has dealt with some knee issues in the past and as a pro-active way of solving this problem he as shown up to camp a lighter, more fit C.C. He puts his official weight loss at 25 pounds and says his plan is to lose another 10 in camp.
Joba Chamberlain has gone in the other direction. Joba had put on 10-15 pounds of muscle. He said he installed a gym in his home this off season and it was the best thing he could have done for himself. He says he feels stronger and he believes this is how his body should feel. He expects it will affect his pitching in a positive way and new pitching coach Dave Rothschild agrees so far. Rothschild says that his arm has a lot of quickness for so early in the spring.
Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson are both coming into camp with tweaked swings and high expectations. Both players believe they will have much better seasons offensively. Jeter may feel he has more to prove simply because his age has greatly been called into question but both players expect to have great years.
For some players, this spring marks the start of a second chance. Others are seeing it as a chance to prove they are ready for the big leauges.
For new Yankees such as Mark Prior, Bartolo Colon, Eric Chavez, Ronnie Belliard, Freddy Garcia and Russell Martin, a second chance is exactly what these guys are looking for. Colon and Garcia are looking to prove they still have what it takes to help a team win as a part of a starting rotation. Prior is looking to do the same in the bullpen. Belliard and Chavez are both looking to make the team as utility players and want to help the team win. Russell Martin is setting his goals high. He is looking at this spring as an opertunity to return to his status as one of the games most elite catchers. Even Andruw Jones is looking to use this oppertunity to prove he can still be an everyday player.
The youth of the team is looking at the Yankees weakened starting rotation as a chance to step up. The Yanks have a wealth of young talent looking to prove that they are ready for the chance to get big league opponents out. Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, Andrew Brackman and Ivan Nova are all guys that have a chance of a lifetime and all of it starts today.
Catching prospects, Jesus Montero and Austin Romaine are looking to prove they have spent enough time in the minors and are ready to catch this Yankee staff.
So as we come into a new year of Yankee baseball, expectations are high, and optimism is everywhere. It is going to be an exciting spring.
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