(Watch the wrist, guy. Kinda got a lot riding on it this year. Courtesy of Getty Images)
Early in Spring Training, we heard that Larry Rothschild was stressing the importance of pitching down in the strike zone to his pitching staff this year. A few years ago that would have been an ideal strategy for the Yankees to maximize their defensive value. They had a Gold Glove first baseman, a pretty good second baseman, a decent-to-slightly above average third baseman, and a shortstop who, for all his range limitations at a position most requiring good range, was good at making plays on the balls he could get to.
It's no longer that infield heyday, and the Yankees enter the 2014 season much less secure in their infield makeup than they were a few years ago. Half of those former players will not be a part of this year's team. The half that remains is not nearly what it was as recently as 2012. For the first time in a long time, the Yanks enter a season not knowing what to expect from their starting infield defensively or offensively. There are more questions than answers right now, and it could be a few months before the answers to those questions materialize. To kick off the final week of the 2014 AB4AR Season Preview Series, let's look at the 2014 starting infield.