Youth Parade Leaves Yankees with Roster Crunch Dilemma
By Aaron Dortch
Extraneous and Injured Players
The Yankees recently outrighted reliever J.R. Graham to create a vacancy on their 40-man. The 26-year-old right-hander pitched decently in the minors, posting a 3.27 ERA and 9.6 K/9 in 44 innings. But he never figured into the big-league club’s plans and is redundant to other more-established options.
Anthony Swarzak, Blake Parker, Kirby Yates and perhaps Johnny Barbato — despite his eye-opening spring training — are all on the cusp of casualty. Lefties Richard Bleier and Tommy Layne have pitched well enough to stick around. Their presence could remove the ever-disappointing Chasen Shreve from the bullpen picture.
Nathan Eovaldi will be recovering from his second Tommy John surgery for his remaining team-control time, making him a non-tender candidate. Dustin Ackley will certainly get the boot. He’s scheduled to return from a torn labrum around next spring but has no place with the Yankees, especially once Greg Bird is healthy.
The Yankees will likely make a choice between Ronald Torreyes and Donovan Solano. My nod goes to Torreyes because of his defense and contact bat, but Solano was excellent with Scranton. Solano led the RailRiders in hits (163) and doubles (33), and his .785 OPS tied Ben Gamel for fifth-best among players with at least 200 at-bats.
Eric Young Jr. was brought in to be the honorary September pinch-runner. He has appeared in five games without any plate action, so consider him gone over the winter.