Thursday, March 28, 2013

Re-Thinking the Yankees' 25-Man Roster

"You other 24, line up behind me."

A couple of days ago I tried to figure out the 25-man roster that the Yankees will open with against Boston on Monday (4/1). Some things and some thoughts have changed though, and so has (in my mind) who will be in the Bronx next week. I am not even going to get into who exits upon the return of Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, etc.

You still have your players certain to get a spot:

C -  Francisco Cervelli
C -  Chris Stewart
2B - Robinson Cano
SS - Eduardo Nunez
3B - Kevin Youkilis
OF - Brett Gardner
OF - Ichiro Suzuki
OF - Vernon Wells
SP - CC Sabathia
SP - Hiroki Kuroda
SP - Andy Pettitte
RP - Mariano Rivera
RP - David Robertson
RP - Joba Chamberlain
RP - Boone Logan
UT - Jayson Nix
DH - Travis Hafner

That's 17 players, leaving 8 spots. The 99% sure of being on the squad are:

1B - Lyle Overbay
OF - Brennan Boesch
OF - Ben Francisco

5 more to go. Now things get tougher.

SP - David Phelps
SP/RP - Ivan Nova, who will get sent down when Phil Hughes comes back from DL. (Phelps has looked more consistent to me than Nova. Then again the Yankees may want to go with Nova's experience and put Phelps in the pen.)

RP - Vidal Nuno: I still this lefty's tremendous up side will get a shot with Clay Rapada sidelined. Thursday afternoon Boone Logan left the game after being hit in the hip with a comebacker, but hopefully that will just result in a bruise and nothing more serious.

That gets us to 23. I know longer feel David Aardsma will make the team based on Joe Girardi's lukewarm, "He's been good." evaluation. I also think Overbay's addition will mean the subtraction of Ronnier Mustelier. I am really disappointed that that will probably be the case. I would like to see what the Cuban born native could do in the short term. Hopefully Mustelier tears up Triple-A and makes his way back up to the Majors to get some fresh legs in the lineup.

Spot 24 goes to Shawn Kelley, who could be a real find out of the pen. Kelley's biggest advantage over Jim Miller is his spot on the 40-man roster. And then there was one. I've heard talk that Cody Eppley could be the guy, because he too is on the 40-man, but he's been awful this Spring.  Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger speculated Adam Warren could make it as a long man out of the pen.

I can't see that happening. Warren looks completely over matched by Major League hitters. I give the final spot to Miller with Sam Demel, who the Yankees just claimed, designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster. Why was he even added in the first place?

So there you do or don't have the 25-man roster to start the season. We'll see what Brian Cashman is thinking very shortly.

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