Key figures of the 2009 New York Yankees
SS - Derek Jeter
He's not the offensive threat he once was, but he's still "The Captain." Jeter still managed to hit .300 last season with 11 HR, 69 RBI and 88 runs scored. He'll be expected to step up even more in A-Rod's early-season absence.
3B - Alex Rodriguez
Alex Rodriguez has been Captain Controversy for the Yankees this offseason. Not only has he come out and admitted to using steroids in the past, but now he is out with a hip injury. He's expected to be out 4-6 weeks, and the Yanks will need his bat to contend in the AL East.
CL - Mariano Rivera
Widely considered the best closer of all time, Mariano Rivera, at age 38, had as dominant a season as ever last year, posting a 1.40 ERA with a 6-5 record, 39 saves and 77 strikeouts in 70.1 innings.
1B - Mark Teixeira
The Yankees decided to break the bank to bring in Mark Teixeira to take over at first base. Teixeira tallied a .308 batting average with 33 HR and 121 RBI with the Braves and Angels last season. At age 29, he'll provide much more stability than Jason Giambi did last season, and should continue to do so for years to come.
SP - CC Sabathia
CC Sabathia was one of the Yankees' high-priced free agent jewels of the offseason. Sabathia was outstanding with the Cleveland Indians and Milwaukee Brewers last season. After being taded to the Brewers, CC posted an amazing 1.65 ERA in 17 starts, including 7 complete games and 3 shutouts.
SP - Joba Chamberlain
It's hard to be fully certain what Chamberlain's role will be for the Yankees this season. Last year he was used in a setup role as well as a starting role. Some reports have said he'll be capped at 150 innings this year, while others have said he'll make 30 starts. Last season he posted a 2.60 ERA in 100.1 innings in his first full season in the big leagues.
SP - A.J. Burnett
New York Yankees pitcher A.J. Burnett throws in the bullpen during the first day of spring training. Burnett has great stuff and can rack up strikeouts, but his health is always a concern. He set a career high in innings pitched last year with 221.1, but it was a contract year. He's only reached the 200 IP plateau two other times in his career.
SP - Andy Pettitte
Andy Pettite pitched at least 200 innings for the fourth straight season, but he has was terrible after the All-Star break. He finished with a 4.54 ERA with a 14-14 record and 158 strikeouts.
C - Jorge Posada
Jorge Posada's 2008 season was cut short with shoulder problems, as he posted a .268 average with 3 HR and 22 RBI in 51 games. He's expected to be ready for Opening Day, but at age 37 and at a demanding position like catcher, you would expect that he'll be missing games throughout the season to keep him fresh.
2B - Robinson Cano
With heavy expectations on him, Robinson Cano got off to a dreadful start in April last year, hitting .151. He did manage to get his average up to .271 by the end of the season and belted 14 homers and drove in 72 runs. Cano's questionable attitude and focus will also need to improve this season.
New York Yankees principal owner George Steinbrenner, left, and his son, Yankees general partner Hank Steinbrenner, watch the Yankees play the Toronto Blue Jays in a spring game in 2008. The elder Steinbrenner's health has suffered recently, and Hank is the one calling the shots now.
Manager - Joe Girardi
New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi watches batting practice before a spring game. Girardi came in last season and did something his predecessor never did, missing the playoffs. The expectations will be high this season once again. If the Yanks miss the playoffs again, there will be some explaining to do.