Entering spring training we have a pretty good idea of who will make up the majority of the Yankees Opening Day roster, but there are still a couple of spots that will be fought for throughout camp.
The Yankees roster is totally stacked from top to bottom. The lineup and the bullpen are still amongst the best in the game and the starting rotation is much improved after the addition of superstar ace Gerrit Cole this offseason.
It’s hard to find an area of weakness on this Yankee team which is why there aren’t many spots left to claim on the Opening Day roster. The new rule change to a 26-man roster is one I’m sure every team is going to welcome with open arms, especially the players who will battle for roster spots over the course of the next month.
The Yankees will likely feature a four-man bench once the season rolls around and continue to carry 13 pitchers as they did for much of last season. It’s safe to say assume that Miguel Andujar will be on the roster now that he’s healthy after missing the majority of last year and he should make a huge impact offensively, regardless of his position. I think Mike Tauchman will also earn a spot following his breakout campaign in 2019 and because of his ability to defend at all three positions in the outfield.
Tauchman will be one of the four bench players when he’s not platooning in the starting outfield and Kyle Higashioka will likely join him as the backup catcher if he can put together a solid spring. That means there’s probably going to be an open competition for the final two spots on the bench.
On the pitching side, I predict Jordan Montgomery will be the fifth starter in the rotation even though there are four other names in the mix to win the job. One of the players competing against Montgomery is Luis Cessa, but he showed last season that he’s much better off pitching out of the pen and since he’s out of options I’d expect him to make the club as a reliever. James Paxton will start the season on the IL so I’d say there are 11 pitchers who are locks to make the 26-man roster and if you look at the 40-man you can pretty much guess who they are.
With two spots left in the pen, the race to win those jobs should be a fun one to watch play out. Every year there are always names we aren’t talking about now who could really impress and force their way on to the team. However, right now it looks there are at least four pitchers who are definitely in the mix to fill those last two spots, starting with this man…