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We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere.  To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2009 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team.  We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2009 Yankees Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Ben K from River Ave Blues.

1) Joba Chamberlain has pitched about 100 IP in each of the last two years and averages less than 6 IP a start last year.  Will he take the next step in 2009 as a starter – say 25+ games started, 175+ IP?

I think Joba’s ready to take the next big step as a starter in 2009, and he says the same thing. For starters, the Yanks have been — and will continue to be — ultra-cautious with Joba. They know they have something special, and they want to make sure that he fulfills his potential while staying healthy. That is something of a tall order. That said, since his injury in August, Joba has been prepping for this season, and he wants to make his 25-30 starts and thrown more than a 150 innings. While I don’t expect him to last a full 33-35 starts in the rotation this year simply because the Yanks will stick him on something of a limit, I see him at around 160 innings and playing a major role in the Yanks’ rotation.

2) Which Yankee is the best best to bounce back to 2007 form – Robinson Cano, Hideki Matsui, or Jorge Posada?

I have to go with Robbie Cano for this one. It would be great to see Hideki or Jorge bounce back to 2007, but Jorge’s 2007 was a career year. Catchers his age coming off shoulder surgery don’t bounce back to that level. He’ll be good but not that good. As for Matsui, I’m not sure what to expect.  Over the last three seasons, Matusi has averaged 95 games and the Yanks may be on borrowed time with him. Cano is young and has been working on his swing and timing this winter. He’s my go-to guy for comeback Yankee of the year.

3) How do you think the whole CF thing will play out between Melky, Swisher, and Gardner?

I don’t think Nick Swisher is in the center field picture. He was vocal in his dislike of center while in Chicago, and the Yanks know that. Swisher may be moved before the Hot Stove League is up, but in the end, it will come down to a good old fashioned spring training battle between Brett Gardner and Melky Cabrera. The hot hand out of Tampa wins the big job in the Bronx.

4) Do you think Sabathia and Burnett will live up to expectations in 2009?

Short answer: yes. Sabathia is expected to be a bulldog ace every five days, and there’s no reason he can’t do that. He’s been successful in the AL and NL and knows how to pitch. For Burnett, the expectations are slightly lower. He just needs to stay healthy and keep on beating the Red Sox. He can do that.

5) Which number is higher:  # of hot women that Derek Jeter has slept with, # of slutty women in Hideki Matsui’s porn collection, or # of manly women that A-Rod has paid to strip for him?

As Joe Torre has seemingly refused to trash “Joe’s guys” in his book, so must I go with the traditional Yankee. My money’s on Derek’s number being higher than A-Rod’s or Matsui’s. It’s good to be king of the Yankees in New York City.

  1. sean says:
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    Gardner is really making a play at the starting spot by coming out smoking hot in ST. With his youth and upside, I think the job is probably his to lose, especially since we know all too well what a full year, or close to it, of Melky will get you.

  2. Frank Rizzo says:
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    What are thoughts on Nady and Damon this year? They both an be had for a song in mocks right now.

  3. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @sean: I’ve already written a post gushing over Gardner so I won’t rehash here but I do like him a lot. SAGNOF!

    @Frank Rizzo: I like Damon a lot more. He seems like a good bet to not completely disappoint. I won’t say the same for Nady. He seems like he could be headed for one of the biggest busts of 2009. He was never able to put together a full year before and he’s not young.

  4. @sean: Agreed. Gardner is a low talent, high effort guy like Girardi was. Melky is a bit Mannyesque. Plus, Gardner has a better eye and his better OBP is preferred by Cashman. So the powers that be are rooting for him. A Yankee #9 hitter with .360 OBP is a candidate for 80-100 runs which could make Gardner a cheap 3-stat player. Definitely on an AL-only radar but his HR/RBI will KILL you in a mixed league (just like Taveras, Pierre, Ichiro to a lesser extent…)

  5. @Grey: I concur with Grey. Damon was a great value last year. I’d target for 3rd OF in a mixed league. Nady….eh. I’m reading that Swisher is more a ‘Girardi-type guy’. Nady would be on the ass end of a platoon. If Matsui stays healthy, Nady will get shipped to a lower-tier team….

  6. sean says:
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    Damon continues to defy logic and reason with the stats that he can put up given the miles on his tires. I just don’t want to be the one holding the bag when he finally craps out. A few years back, I got out of my ’91 Camry before it went (turned it over twice), and I’m going to do the same with Damon. I’m content to root for the guy as a Yankee instead of hoping he produces for my fantasy squad.

    I was pretty sure that the Yanks were going to flip Nady after they signed him, but now it seems like they’ll probably demote whoever doesn’t win the CF job and keep a fourth outfielder to prepare for the inevitable injury to Damon. With the way all the players seem to rave about Swisher “keeping things loose” in the clubhouse, I think the Yanks feel like they have one of those “character guys that wins championships.”

  7. I hate the YANKEES!

  8. I wonder if Godzirra’s porn collection has any shots of cheesy 1960s movie monsters humping each other.

  9. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Looks like I owe you another Pina Colada.

  10. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Hey, what a great comment to be your 1200th.

  11. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Hehe, does that mean I got a big mouth or just busy fingers?

  12. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: FYI, and it should go without saying, you don’t owe me anything. But I told you so!

  13. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Yes, you did tell me so, but a bet’s a bet. Hippo’s don’t welch, we just procrastinate, and fart a lot.

    Will pay up sometime after bball season starts, gotta go cool on the credit card till my house loan comes through. Did I tell you I’m moving?

  14. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: For real? Where you moving to? You leaving your current “I ain’t a playa, I just crush-a-lot” roomie?

  15. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: Ha, yeah. Leaving him my job too.

    Got a promo baby, moving up to the city, finally outta the bootheel!

    Now me and the roomie can take that Mexico vacation we always talk about over Corona’s. He gets the hoochie mama’s, I get to puke in a Tijuana alley.

  16. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @BigFatHippo: Nice, congrats! Word about Tijuana — If a ‘good’ looking girl offers ‘special treats’ if you go back to her ‘room.’ Don’t go for it.

  17. big o says:
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    hippo … a girl … and a donkey .

    don’t stay too long .

  18. BigFatHippo says:
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    @Grey: @big o: Don’t worry, I always look for the adam’s apple and the hairy arms. The bearded ladies, I’m sorta used to by now.

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