The 2017 New York Yankees team is almost set and they are showing some similarities to the World Series Champion team from 2009.
With spring training winding down in Tampa, it’s time to let overly ridiculous expectations take hold of the fans of this New York Yankees team. It comes as no surprise that fans have gotten themselves carried away with the success of the Yankees.
It’s time to add one more comparison to that list. The 2017 New York Yankees roster is starting to form and it’s starting to look more and more like their team from 2009.
Here are some of the similarities between the World Champion 2009 team and this year’s Yankees squad.
1. Veteran and rookie combinations
The 2009 Yankees entered the season with high expectations due to some key additions to the squad. While the 2017 Yankees aren’t entering the season with as many acquisitions, they still are relying on a few to help carry them through.
The signings of Aroldis Chapman and Matt Holliday added some extra firepower to their lineup, which they missed at the end of last season. The 2009 Yankees looked to do the same, signing Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia to build up their roster. Both teams brought in seasoned veterans to help out in their weak spots.
The 2017 team is built upon gritty veterans and talented rookies, much like the 2009 team. While the youth on the 2009 squad weren’t quite as widely discussed as Gary Sanchez and Greg Bird are, they still played a huge role in getting the Yankees to the playoffs.
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The right combination of veteran leadership and young talent generally results in success. It did in 2009 and the general make-up is quite similar this season.
2. Pre-season injuries
Both Yankees teams also experienced devastating injuries before the season even started. In 2009, Alex Rodriguez was sidelined with a hip injury that kept him out until the middle of May. This year, Didi Gregorius is the victim. His shoulder injury will keep him out of the game until right around the same time.
While Rodriguez didn’t have the numbers he had back with the Seattle Mariners, his starting presence and power were missed in the lineup. With Gregorius, the starting shortstop will be sorely missed for his defensive prowess. With both, you can replace them temporarily, but nothing beats having them back and healthy.
While a month and a half might not seem like a long haul, with talent you rely on, time seems to crawl by. The Yankees were able to get production out of Rodriguez upon his return so hopefully, the same thing will happen when Gregorius recovers from his unfortunate injury.
3. Coming off a rough season
The Yankees in 2009 were coming off an October-less season in 2008. They were desperate to get back to the playoffs and had a lot riding on this season under a new manager.
Well, that same manager is dealing with the same problems. The 2017 Yankees are working through another season where they missed the playoffs and hoping to rebuild for another championship run.
While the Yankees won a few more games in 2008 than they did in 2016, the same idea applies. They were lower in the ranks of the American League East and managed to climb their way back to the top. With the force they have shown so far this spring, they are looking to become contenders again.
Last season means nothing in grand scheme of things. However, it might give them some motivation to propel them to the playoffs, much like it did in the 2009 season.
Sure, you can argue that this means nothing. However, the similarities are too close to ignore. If the Yankees start out strong, they will be a force to be reckoned with in an American League East division that is dominated by the Boston Red Sox.
History has a way of repeating itself. Could this be the year the Yankees make it back to the World Series?
Maybe we’re jumping the gun. However, we all want to see the Yankees succeed. Maybe fate will intervene for the New York Yankees.