Part two of the Yankees final report cards dives into the Yankee outfielders. Find out if your…
Yankees 2004 Outlook, Part 2
The outfielder isn't under contract for next season, but he has stated his desire to come back to the Yankees. Dellucci isn't a starter by anyone's definition, but he could fill the role of defensive replacement/pinch runner quite well with his speed. If the Yankees want, they could bring Dellucci back in the same capacity that Charles Gipson and Chris Latham attempted to fill earlier in 2003.
Projected Stats:* .240, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 20 R, 10 SB
Garcia is also not under contract with anyone for the 2004 season. As a free agent, he offers a cheap left-handed bat that could be an everyday outfielder for some clubs. Chances are that he won't re-sign with the Yankees after all of the incidents with Boston during the playoffs. Additionally, the Yanks are expected to sign a big free-agent bat to play right field, and with Rivera in the mix, Garcia would be a fifth outfielder. It's very unlikely he'll be back in pinstripes in 2004.
Projected Stats:* .265, 20 HR, 80 RBI, 80 R, 2 SB
Matsui's overall numbers should improve in 2004 as he gets more used to American baseball. He made the transition well this season, but his power numbers weren't at all close to what they were in Japan. A slight increase in his doubles and/or homeruns is expected as he gets more comfortable with his surroundings and opposing pitchers. Matsui also might be forced to change positions next season to either centerfield or left. The interesting thing is that Matsui hit .347 and his slugging percentage jumped 170 points while playing center instead of left. Matsui was a centerfielder in Japan, and his defense is more than adequate to play there. With Bernie aging slightly less than gracefully, Matsui in center is a good possibility.
Projected Stats: .300, 25 HR, 115 RBI, 100 R, 4 SB
With the Yankees expected to sign a big free agent outfielder (such as Gary Sheffield or Vladimir Guerrero), Rivera will probably be the odd man out again. As a fourth outfielder Rivera would be very useful, as he has posted decent power numbers in his limited at bats. But Rivera is more likely to be traded to a team in need of a starting outfielder. In the hectic world of the Yankees, there unfortunately isn't time to bring along slowly developing prospects like Rivera. The outfielder still has a bright career ahead of him, but it doesn't look like it will be as a Yankee.
Projected Stats:* .260, 12 HR, 40 RBI, 46 R, 5 SB
Sierra is also without a contract for 2004, but could return to the Yankees in the same role that he fulfilled so well this season. It was no secret that Joe Torre enjoyed having the switch-hitter as a weapon off the bench. Sierra had 28 pinch-hit appearances in 2003, with seven hits and two walks while striking out just twice. If the Yankees can sign him cheap and make it clear what his role will be, Sierra could be just as good for them next season.
Projected Stats:* .270, 10 HR, 40 RBI, 35 R, 0 SB
Bernie Williams: Bernie's 2004 will depend almost entirely upon his health. If he somehow returns to full health, a return to his normal numbers can be expected. But unfortunately, this can't be counted on. It's more likely that Bernie's knee will become a chronic problem, limiting his range in the field (more than likely pushing him to left field), his speed on the bases and his power at the plate. If the Yankees overhaul their lineup (like they should), Bernie could be dropped lower than his usual third or fourth slot so that Matsui and Jorge Posada can occupy the cleanup and/or fifth slots.
Projected Stats:* .295, 19 HR, 90 RBI, 100 R, 5 SB
*- Projected Stats assume they return to the Yankees
PinstripesPlus.com Recommended Stories
Dr. Roto Video: Week 12 Injury Report
Dr. Roto highlights the injuries from three games: Denver @ Miami, Arizona @ Seattle and Houston @ Cincinnati. One recommendation is to definitely start Houston Texans RB Alfred Blue (pictured above)…Read More
What, and Who, to Watch
O'Malley's weekly six-pack of questions entering Saturday's showdown with Louisville in South Bend.Read More
Peterson speaks: Fresh start might be best
Adrian Peterson said he knows Vikings players and coaches love him, but there are people “internally” that haven’t been supporting him.Read More
5 NFL Games that Got Cancelled by Weather
It snowed again in Buffalo, blanketing the city and, more importantly for our purposes, Ralph Wilson Stadium in 8 feet of snow. The NFL just announced that Sunday's Bills-Jets game is bugging out.…Read More
Apache Administers Death to Taliban (VIDEO)
The Apache helicopter is one of the most famed and efficient killing machines in the U.S Army. Get the skinny on this 'steel dragon' and watch what one does to a platoon of Taliban fighters in…Read More