I'm worried about Carlos Beltran. I admit it. I'm more worried about Beltran than I am of Mark Teixeira; for the obvious with him being younger, but also not being in top notch physical shape like Teixeira.
I'm even less worried about Alex Rodriguez than I am of Beltran. A-Rod's looking like to have the better season.
Beltran has been through a lot in his single year with the Yankees. Not just the arm injury that kept him from being 100% last season, but also his personal life when his wife had a miscarriage in the middle of last season. He was expected to have his third child and first son. Which must've been really heartbreaking for him and his wife to deal with.
I'm rooting for Beltran to have a healthy season and a Beltran-like season, with the Yankees. He's been wanting to come to the Yankees forever and play for the same team as his idol/favorite player growing, Bernie Williams.
And the Yankees need Beltran to be great. Without Beltran being productive, they're in trouble.
But after watching the Yankees top prospect Aaron Judge this spring, looking how pretty polished he is at the plate for a 22-year old and how dangerous he can be with the bat showing power and contact, Yankees won't have to worry replacing Beltran at right-field if he isn't gonna healthy.
Judge is ready for the bigs. I really believe that. If it wasn't for an already crowded roster with positions taken over by big contracts, Judge would be starting opening day. I mean, he looks so good at the plate now, there's a chance he could still come up to the Bronx with the team.
Judge is what the Yankees are looking for and need, at the moment of this era. They need power and youth; though, more power. But young and a power bat? There's no need to wait. Bring him up now.
And Judge can come up in April with the team and learn from the veterans like Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury and most importantly A-Rod -- who better for Judge to learn from than one of the greatest right-handed bats of all-time.
There's something about a young player coming into a bunch of veteran players that adds spark to the older players. The veteran player sees how fun the younger player is having and wants to join that fun on the field, they once had when they first came up. I've always liked the combination of old and young on -- now just a baseball team -- any sports teams. Diverse is key.
Going back to Beltran: He went 0-for-3 -- with a double play and strikeout looking to a left-handed hitter. Still too early to tell if he's gonna have another off year, or too early to ask ourselves if this is the beginning of end for a great player.
I remember Beltran did say last season, when he signed the three-year deal with the Yanks, that this could very well be the last three years of his career. Could this season be the last year of his career? If so, I hope it's him celebrating in the locker room from World Series win.