Yankees: 3 players on hot seat in spring training so far

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Come on, Yankees fans. Don’t pretend like you aren’t making a mental list of players who’ve disappointed you during spring training so far.

Don’t pretend you aren’t waking up daily and trying to math out the way Derek Dietrich and Jay Bruce could both make the final roster.

We know how watching these games works. They don’t matter — until your team is struggling, and then they’re suddenly the most important thing in the universe.

And while most of this roster is rounding into shape properly, more than a few Yankees have earned some scorn so far (and may have earned walking papers).

Only so many men can make the team’s final roster, and no amount of pre-season praise can cover up for subpar performance, once the lights turn a little brighter (we can’t bring ourselves to call spring training lights “bright,” sorry).

And so, we’re placing three men on the hot seat.

One has all the potential in the world, but hasn’t put it together in any organized Yankees games, whether we’re talking March or August.

One was supposed to be the steady fifth starter option, but has instead been a gas can.

And the third probably showed up two weeks ago knowing his roster spot was entirely assured. Now? Not so much.

These three Yankees have something to worry about.

Mar 12, 2020; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Albert Abreu (84) delivers pitch against the Washington Nationals in the ninth inning at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports /

3. Albert Abreu

Did you know Albert Abreu hit 100 on his fastball the other day? Were you aware? Have you heard?

As of now, Abreu has velocity going for him, as well as a mysterious extra minor-league option. When the dust settles in a few weeks, that option won’t only be the difference between him making the team and starting in Scranton. It could be what stands between him staying in the organization or being attached to a Mike Tauchman trade.

Through his first two outings of the spring, Abreu posted a 4.50…WHIP, and a garish 20.25 ERA. And we thought the pitchers were supposed to be ahead of the hitters.

As ridiculous and judgmental as it feels to be leaping down Abreu’s throat, these struggles have not been confined to spring 2021. We’ve heard about his potential forever, and every time we’re given the chance to actually view the specifics of his arsenal, we get burned. The fastball? Speedy, but flat, and even his ’21 burst hasn’t helped. The secondary offerings? We’d love to judge them, but they’re shooting into the gap as we speak. We’ll get back to you.

The current version of Abreu has been lapped by Nick Nelson, Brooks Kriske, Addison Russ and Lucas Luetge, and will remain in the organization when Opening Day rolls around because he holds one last coveted ticket to the Scranton Shuttle. That’s it, and that’s the only praise he’s earned.