It's finally here. Opening Day. The Yankees open up the with Blue Jays at 1:05 right here on 104.5 The Team.

As you're getting ready for the game and the season, take a look at the Yankees breakdown for 2015.

Masahiro Tanaka's elbow is of great concern to the 2015 Yankees (Getty Images).
Masahiro Tanaka's elbow is of great concern to the 2015 Yankees (Getty Images).

The Starting Rotation: The Yankees starting staff yields a ton of questions, and it’s the biggest weakness of the 2015 version as a result. Masahiro Tanaka is an ace, but his elbow issues make you wonder if he’ll have the ability to pitch deep into games – or deep into the season.

Michael Pineda is another wild card. The 26-year-old oft-injured pitcher could carry this staff. He has that ability and he's that good. He has good command of a mid-90s fastball, a great splitter, and a good slider. His shoulder is a question mark, as he’s spent significant time on the disabled list since his all-star rookie season in Seattle.

C.C. Sabathia is not the same pitcher he was five years ago. His knees have gone, causing him to miss a healthy chunk of last season. His velocity has diminished. He’s more reliant on control and changing speeds. He’s going to pitch to contact, and you just have to hope that contact stays in the yard.

Nathan Eovaldi, picked up from the Marlins, assumes the fourth spot in the rotation. He was a GREAT pickup for the Pinstripes. The 25-year-old helps the Yankees get younger, and he’s cost effective, making just $3.3 million this year. He’ll be arbitration-eligible this year and the Yankees will have him under team control until 2018. He’s a hard thrower, capable of striking guys out. But he’s also capable of walking guys. He has a 2-1 K:BB ratio for his career.

Adam Warren has the fifth spot while Ivan Nova is on the DL. Warren is a strike thrower who will keep his team in games. He’s not spectacular, but he’s a good fifth starter. You could do a lot worse, Yankee fans.

All in all, I think Eovaldi and Warren are good stable forces at the back end, better than most. But the injury concerns up top dwarf the overall potential. If everyone is healthy, the Yankees rotation is good, but I don’t know if you can count on it.

The Bullpen:

While the rotation is the team’s biggest weakness, the bullpen may be its biggest strength. With decreased starters pitch counts and everyone trying to follow the 2014 Royals formula of making games essentially six or seven innings, it’s a good thing too.

Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances provide a great 1-2 punch at the back end that should shorten games for the 2015 Bronx Bombers.  David Carpenter was a solid pickup from the Braves and Esmil Rogers has potential. But have you ever heard of the other guys (Chris Martin, Chasen Shreve, and Justin Wilson)?


Brian McCann (Getty Images).
Brian McCann (Getty Images).

Brian McCann used to be a catcher that could hit for average as well as power. He also used to get on-base at a high clip. All of that changed in 2012, as the average and OBP went down considerably. Last year he hit just .232 with a .286 OBP. He did have 23 homers, but the Yanks need him to bring that plate discipline he showed from 2005-2011. John Ryan Murphy is the backup.


A late Spring injury to Brendan Ryan changes things up for the Yankees. New York looks to start Chase Headley at 3rd, Didi Gregorius at SS, Stephen Drew at 2B and Mark Teixeira at 1st.

Headley, signed to an extension in the offseason, and Gregorius, acquired in the offseason, give the Yankees a great infield defense on the left side. Headley can hit for power and has good plate discipline and should continue to ht well in Yankee Stadium. Drew and Teixeira are more of question marks. Drew has dealt with injuries and “Tex” does seemingly every year. If healthy, Teixeira can provide great defense and added power.

The bench includes power-hitting Garrett Jones, who can really hit well in Yankee Stadium against righties, but he can’t hit lefties. That’s where Alex Rodriguez comes in. Like it or not Yankee fans, he’s going to help against SouthPaws this year, and you need him to be good.

The OF:

Like most other spots on the roster, the Yankees have health concerns in the OF. Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Carlos Beltran all have injury histories. If those guys are healthy, the Yanks have a lot of speed in Gardner and Ellsbury that should score plenty of runs at the top of the lineup. Beltran is a polished, professional hitter. If healthy, he’ll be what the Yanks need in the middle of the order.

Chris Young is the fourth OF. He can run, he’s versatile on defense, and he can hit for power. But he strikes out way too much.

Overall Outlook:

The AL East is up for grabs. The Orioles are the defending champs but they lost AL home run champ Nelson Cruz to the Mariners. The Blue Jays lost top prospect Marcus Stroman from the top of their rotation. The Red Sox have all the hitters and are light on pitching. And the Rays are rebuilding with a new manager.

I think the health concerns for the Yankees are a huge concern. I think they play better than you expect them to, but I think this is a 3rd place team in the division, right around .500.