Yankees will limp into 2015, too

The Yankees will have plenty of health-related question marks next season, too. USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK -- The job of a major league front office is to try to predict performance. The more things they can be positive about the easier their job becomes.

Trying to prognosticate what the 2015 New York Yankees will do comes with the heft of question marks weighing down so many important players.

In the starting rotation, Masahiro Tanaka (elbow), CC Sabathia (knee) and Ivan Nova (elbow) will be watched closely in the spring.

In the outfield, Carlos Beltran (elbow) is expected to be joined by Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury, who have had their share of bumps in the past. At the corner infield positions, the Yankees won't know how the injury-prone and aged Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez will perform.

Wait 'Til Next Year may be ominous for the Yankees.

In the post-Derek Jeter era, some things will change, but managing a creaky roster probably won't for Joe Girardi.

"I guess keeping them healthy is the challenge," Girardi said. "It is just managing them. Sometimes it is just injuries arise. It is not an every day thing. Sometimes guys can get chronic things and that is what you try to stay away from. But it is giving them days off when you are in long stretches and doing that."

Sabathia, off knee surgery, is vowing to be ready for spring training.

"I'll be ready, for sure," Sabathia said.

Next week, he hopes to play catch for the first time since the surgery.

"My mind feels better," Sabathia said. "My body feels better. It is definitely unfortunate I'm not out here, but I get to spend time with my family. It has all been helping. It has definitely given me the itch to work harder and get back out there."

Nova said he thinks he could return by early May after his Tommy John surgery. But really no one can predict how he or Sabathia will perform.

The Yankees look as if they will not make the playoffs this year. Next year -- no matter what they do this offseason -- they will start with a bunch of question marks. Maybe they become very creative this winter, but they are working with an inflexible roster and not much ready-to-go talent at the top of the minor leagues.

So when you think about what the Yankees may be able to count on in 2015, the list is not a particularly long one.