Last season was a rough one for the New York Yankees.

The team battled injuries all season long. Alex Rodriguez was once again in the news amidst a steroids scandal. The Yankees finished 85-77 and missed the postseason altogether for the first time since 2008 (and just the second time since 1993). Mariano Rivera retired. And to cap it all off, their hated rivals, the Boston Red Sox, won the World Series.

Yes, it was a rough season for the Bronx Bombers.   

But spring training is here, and with it brings a new start for the Yankees. The club was once again busy this offseason, signing Jacoby Ellsbury, Masahiro Tanaka, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Matt Thornton, Kelly Johnson and Brian Roberts, while star second baseman Robinson Cano and outfielder Curtis Granderson signed elsewhere over the winter.

After last year’s disappointment, there are plenty of Yankees fans eager to get a look at the club this spring. Below, you’ll find the team’s full schedule, a recap from every game they play before the regular season begins and a prediction for how they’ll fare this season.



Feb. 25: Yankees beat Florida State, 8-3

Led by Ramon Flores (2-for-2, one home run, one RBI, two runs) and Dean Anna (reached base three times, scored two runs), the Yankees opened spring training by defeating the Florida State baseball team, 8-3.

Vidal Nuno, Brian Gordon and Bryan Mitchell each pitched two scoreless innings for the Yankees, while John Sansone’s bases-loaded double in the sixth inning accounted for all three of Florida State’s runs.

Of course, all of the talk in this game was Florida State Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston facing the Bronx Bombers, not that he fared particularly well, via Bleacher Report:

After, Winston joked that the Yankees still might want his signature, via Michele Steele of ESPN:

Brett Gardner, Francisco Cervelli, Kelly Johnson and Brendan Ryan were the biggest names to make an appearance for the Yankees, so Winston was the game’s main attraction.


Pre-Spring Training Prediction for 2014 Season

If the Yankees can stay healthy, they should have a pretty nasty lineup. A core group of Ellsbury, Derek Jeter, McCann, Beltran, Mark Teixeira and Alfonso Soriano should provide plenty of pop, and the Yankees could conceivably be among the leaders in runs scored and home runs this year.

That’s if they stay healthy, however, which is a pretty huge “if” considering this team is pretty darn old. They are only a few injuries away from sinking down the standings again.

The pitching staff will be reliant on two unknowns: Can CC Sabathia turn things around after a disappointing 2013 season, and can Tanaka take the American League by storm?

If the answer to both of those questions is “yes,” the Yankees will have a nasty one-two combination atop the rotation, bolstered by Hiroki Kuroda, Ivan Nova and potentially the return of Michael Pineda, who once looked so promising but has missed the past two seasons to injury. 

David Robertson will be tasked with replacing Rivera, impossible shoes to fill though Robertson should do just fine in the role. The rest of the bullpen is shakier, however, and could become an issue for the team.

Finally, there is the little matter of the brutal American League East, a division that could see any of its five teams reach the postseason. Yes, even last year’s biggest busts, the Toronto Blue Jays, have to be considered contenders given the talent they have and the multitude of injuries they suffered last year.

The Yankees should be improved this year. But in a tough AL East, their improvement will probably be minimal. They’ll finish third in the AL East and miss the postseason for a second straight year.


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