After an off-season that was widely reviewed as a failure, the Yankees will take to the field tomorrow attempting to prove their detractors wrong. Yes, they didn’t land Cliff Lee and yes, they enter the season with big question mark hanging over their rotation. But the fact remains that this is still a pretty good ballclub.

Start with the lineup. A team that scored 859 runs last year has the potential to be even better. Alex Rodriguez has finally fully recovered from his hip surgery. Jeter and Granderson have redone their swings. Gardner’s wrist is fully healed. Russell Martin will handle the catching duties, looking to regain his All-Star form. All told, the Yankees have at least three legitimate MVP contenders in their regular lineup. And unlike previous years, the Yankees have built a pretty solid bench to supplement their lineup headed by Andruw Jones and Eric Chavez.

The other big strength will be the bullpen. Since they missed out on Cliff Lee, the Yankees signed Rafael Soriano, Tampa’s closer in 2010, to setup for Mariano Rivera. Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson will cover the 6th and 7th with Boone Logan and Pedro Feliciano handling lefties. Bartolo Colon will serve as the long man.

But what it will ultimately come down to for the team is the starting rotation. There are no questions about the ace, CC Sabathia, one of the best pitchers in the game. But after Sabathia (who's now "thinner"), there are huge questions. Can AJ Burnett be the pitcher he is paid to be? Will Phil Hughes rebound from a poor second half? Can Ivan Nova pitch more than four effective innings in a game? Does Freddy Garcia have anything left?

The answers to those questions and what Brian Cashman can do at the trade deadline will determine how far the Yankees go this season. They have enough firepower to make the playoffs right now, but advancing deep into October will require more starting pitching.