At best, third place in the A.L. East – but missing the playoffs.
At worst? I don’t think they will finish last. But, I think it’s possible that they could be closer to last place than they are to first place, in terms of games in standings…again, at the worst.
Why? The pitching staff – both the rotation and the bullpen – is far from a proven thing. Their infield is a wreck. And, their outfield is flawed…given Gardner’s lack of power, Ellsbury’s injury risk, and Beltran’s wheels and lack of defense. (He makes Bobby Abreu look good in right.) Plus, at DH, Soriano gets eaten up by right-handed pitching.
There’s no stud batter on this team. There’s no proven set-up man in the bullpen. There’s age and uncertainty in the rotation. And, who knows that Johnson, Jeter, Roberts and Tex are going to produce…or if any of them will be there for the whole season?
Anyone who thinks this team is a playoff contender is dreaming.