Wednesday, October 24, 2012

2012 AB4AR Season Review: What We Thought We Knew & What We Learned (The Infield)

(Photo used courtesy of Keith Allison)

For the second straight year I kicked off the official AB4AR Season Preview series with the "What We Know & What We Don't Know" sub-series.  It's a nice little way to make some assessments and quasi-predictions about the season to come while everything is still unofficial and unannounced at the end of Spring Training.  It only seems fitting to keep with that theme to start the official AB4AR Season Review series, and we'll start with the infield just like we did way back in late March.

After an up-and-down 2011 season, 2012 was expected to be a bounce-back year for the Yankee infield.  Robinson Cano was at the top of his game, and there was hope that a healthy A-Rod and more balanced Teix would help re-establish the middle of the Yankee lineup as the most feared in baseball.  The Captain was supposed to be the wild card of the group, but as it turned out he ended up being the most pleasant surprise of the bunch.  All in all, it's hard to say 2012 was a successful one for this crew, but it's also difficult to call it a complete failure.

Did Having To Play All The Way Through The Regular Season Hurt The Yankees?

(Ain't no lineup changes that fix tired.  Courtesy of the AP)

Yesterday I made a comment on our daily TYA email chain that it seemed like most of the blogopshere was caught in a no man's land when it came to Yankee coverage now that the season was over.  The combination of such a one-sided postseason exit with what was otherwise a very strong season seems to have put everybody in a situation where they aren't quite ready to go back and fully review 2012 and also aren't quite ready to let it go and start looking towards this offseason and 2013.  Well if that's the case then I'm just as guilty as everybody else, because I've had this idea jotted down for a couple weeks, even going back to the start of the postseason against Baltimore.

The general consensus was that playing hard through the end of the regular season would benefit the Yankees because they would still mentally locked in and would not lose any momentum by having guys sit and rest down the stretch like they would if the division was already locked up.  But for an older team like the Yankees, a team that was even more banged up than the poor Fraud Sawx and Blue Jays, did having to go all out for all 162 actually end up hurting them?