(Last time we'll see these 3 together in a Yankee uniform. Courtesy of Getty Images)
The older, veteran-heavy lineup that the Yankees finished 2011 with was basically back intact for 2012. With their ever-present need for starting pitching and their new need to get younger AND trim payroll costing them their best young hitting prospect in decades, that group of veterans was once again going to be looked to as the major source of offensive production even as signs were pointing towards the days of elite-level production being over for some. We knew that some of the older players in the lineup were starting to decline going in, and we learned that in some cases that decline has been accelerated and in some it’s been temporarily halted coming out. What remains unknown after this season is how much longer this infield core is going to stay together.
Despite the continued aging of the Yankee lineup, and the addition of even older players to fill the gap left by the departed Jesus Montero, the Yankee lineup remained one of the most potent in all of baseball again in 2012. The lefty-heavy group leaned on their bread-and-butter formula of power and patience, using the short porch in right field to their advantage as they slugged their way to a team record 245 home runs, a ranking at or near the top of most important offensive categories, and another postseason run. That formula was exposed in the postseason, however, and it’s starting to become more apparent that this group needs a shakeup in both personnel and approach to combat the issues that age-related regression is causing.