Scouting the Yankees

Updated: October 5, 2004, 12:14 AM ET
By Buck Martinez | ESPN Insider

Division Series Breakdowns
American League
  • Minnesota Twins
  • New York Yankees
  • Boston Red Sox
  • Anaheim Angels
    National League
  • Los Angeles Dodgers
  • St. Louis Cardinals
  • Houston Astros
  • Atlanta Braves

    Joe Torre hasn't had this much uncertainty with his postseason rotation since he came to the Yankees. That said, they have one of the best lineups in baseball and may be able to overcome the weakness.

    Mike Mussina has been great in September and appears to be over his elbow problems. After Mussina, though, many questions remain.

    The position players are great. It's only the second time in Yankees history they have six players with 20-plus home runs. The other was the 1961 Mantle and Maris team. Reliance on home run may be a problem, though, as you face top-of-the rotation starters in the playoffs.

    The postseason is all about starting pitching, and I don't think the Yankees have enough. It could be quick exit for the Bombers.

    Position players

    Derek Jeter
    Shortstop
    New York Yankees
    Profile
    2004 SEASON STATISTICS
    GM HR RBI R SB AVG
    154 23 78 111 23 .292
    Derek Jeter: Great patience at the plate. … Because he will hit the ball all over the yard, difficult to defend. Play straight infield and outfield. He can pull the inside pitch or hit it up the middle or fight it off to right. Outside is the same. Infielders can't get a read on where he will hit the ball as it's on its way to the plate. … Best bet, down and in and up and away. … Make him stop on the bases; steals in the toughest spots. … He uses the team radar gun during the game to keep him up on velocity. It's working for him. … Team leader, plays 'till the last out, no matter the score.
    Buck Martinez re-joined ESPN in 2002, following a one-year stint as manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, and currently serves as analyst on ESPN's Wednesday night national telecasts of Major League Baseball.
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