Yankees Editorial: Could Two Young Non-Roster Invitees Make The Roster?


The New York Yankees announced their non-roster Spring Training invitees, and there’s more talent in this group than there has been in quite some time. Though we want all the top names to give us a supplementary amount of promise this spring training, I think there are two specific names to make their mark this Spring. So I’m going to pick the hitter and pitcher who I think are most likely to make the roster by Opening Day.

Aaron Judge has turned into one of if not the favorite among Yankees minor league players to bring back power in the lineup, and why not? A 6 ft 7 in, 230 lb outfielder drafted in 2013, that by itself brings an electrifying feeling to Yankees fans.

Taking a look at the Yankees outfield now it is one of the best in the MLB (when performing at their best), but it lacks depth for players who are highly prone to injury. Carlos Beltran only played 32 games last year in the field, and adding to that his bat was sub par to say the least. Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner both have fast paced playing styles that can create injury at any moment.

To back the three of them up is Chris Young, who has a lot to prove this year after earning a one year contract for $2.5 mil. So with all the possible negatives that could happen, why wouldn’t you add Aaron Judge a player with so much upside. A player that can give the team the charge it has been looking for the last 2 years.

In 2014, Judge had a .308 BA, 17 Homers, and a .419 OBP in 130 games. His two main downfalls are his strikeout numbers, and his slower speed. Both however are given with a power hitter, and a taller body. However all the upsides make him worth putting in the lineup. The fact is that there’s not much to lose to at least keep him on the immediate roster, and let him be the depth we need for the outfield.

The Yankees only invited three outfielders to spring training as well, which shows there isn’t much to choose from. The other one close to Judge would be Jake Cave, who compares more to a Brett Gardner type player. If Judge showcases his talents with striking fashion in Tampa this spring, I wouldn’t be surprised if his name is brought to attention in New York for opening day.

Once again a club favorite, Luis Severino is by far the most advanced pitcher of the Yankees minor league spring training players. Though he is only 6 ft his fastball shows a constant rate in the mid 90s. The shorter body allows him to snap his pitches out, unlike most taller pitchers who throw in more windmill motions.

If you have watched him pitch you can see the fastball has a slight sink to it, which forces a favorable amount of grounders. He is most knocked for his smaller body type, but his command for a less built pitcher is astounding, and he still has more command to gain. Severino’s other pitches includes a change-up which can be just as lethal as his fastball, and a slider which is in the works. 

Now what makes him ideal to be on the roster by opening day? Simply the uncertainty at the 5th pitching spot, which right now is between Chris Capuano and Adam Warren. Keep in mind this is the case at least until June until Ivan Nova recovers fully from surgery, but that’s then and this is now.

The Yankees lost Hiroki Kuroda this off-season, moving Michael Pineda up to the 3rd in the rotation. With Nova out, and the addition of fire-throwing Nathan Eovaldi for the 4th spot, there’s the fifth spot up for grabs. Capuano came to the Yankees in the middle of last season, his numbers weren’t staggering but showed positives. Warren however has been with the Yankees for three full seasons now, and has given quality innings from the bullpen. Now whether or not he’s ready to start will be shown in the near future.

With all that in mind, Severino could have a shot. Unlike Capuano, there is no telling what you will get with Severino. This spring training is going to be vital to see who really wins this fifth rotation spot. Capuano is a veteran, I think his place should be in the bullpen though. It’s highly unlikely he’s going to do something that shocks the team even if it is until Nova returns.

I have no problem with giving Warren a chance to start, to me he is more fit than Capuano. Adam Warren shows promise, and if that fifth rotation spot were between him and Severino, I would feel more comfortable with that. If Severino were to win that fifth spot, it just puts Warren where he has been, and that’s a salient part to our bullpen.

The Yankees need to win the early part of the season. I’m sure were all tired of watching them play catch up in August and September. The odds are against this happening, but it is more of a possibility than most consider. If they add Aaron Judge’s power, and Luis Severino’s heat, it should give the team the young boost it’s looking for.

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