First Pitch: Oh, the Robertson era begins

April, 1, 2014
Apr 1
HOUSTON -- Love or hate the Yankees, they never lack storylines. David Robertson is replacing the greatest closer who ever lived, and it falls behind so many headlines for this year.

What other team could make that happen?

It doesn't make Robertson less important. It just means that I can list a bunch of questions that fall above his performance that fascinates me.

1. Derek Jeter's farewell?
2. Masahiro Tanaka's hello
3. CC Sabathia's reclamation?
4. Michael Pineda's Yankees debut?
5. How much will Robinson Cano be missed?
6. Mark Teixeira's production?

Then, before how Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran -- big-time, free-agent acquisitions -- will fit in, I would place Robertson.

But make no mistake about it, Robertson's transition to the closer role will be vital. It just doesn't feel like it is the first item that you think about on this Opening Day.

Starters: Here are your pitching matchups against the Houston Astros:

Tuesday: Sabathia (14-13, 4.78 ERA in 2013) versus Scott Feldman (12-12, 4.78)

Wednesday: Hiroki Kuroda (11-13, 3.31) versus Jarred Cosart (1-1, 1.95)

Thursday: Ivan Nova (9-6, 3.10) versus Brett Oberholtzer (4-5, 2.76)

Got you covered: Ian O'Connor will join me here at Minute Maid Park. Remember, by coming to this blog, you will find everything in the ESPN universe that has anything to do with the Yankees. Just click right here and bookmark.

Thanks: As my tag-team partner, Wallace Matthews, likes to say, we know there are a lot of choices of airlines out there, but thanks once again for flying with us.

QUESTION: We have made our optimistic predictions. What are yours for 2014?
Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »



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Jacoby Ellsbury
.271 15 67 69
HRM. Teixeira 21
RBIJ. Ellsbury 67
RB. Gardner 81
OPSB. Gardner .770
WM. Tanaka 12
ERAH. Kuroda 3.81
SOM. Tanaka 135