There’s been a lot of speculation in regard to who will grab Zack Britton’s spot in the bullpen and how many players the New York Yankees will carry on the bench.
We still don’t know the answer to the first scenario, but we now have clear insight on the second.
According to Yankees insider Bryan Hoch, the Yankees are likely to carry a four-man bench, with Brett Gardner and Kyle Higashioka “locked in” for the Opening Day roster.
There’s quite the ongoing competition right now and it’s going to be a tough call. We can guess Mike Ford probably isn’t making the team because he hasn’t impressed with his bat this spring, which pretty much leaves us with Jay Bruce, Derek Dietrich, Tyler Wade and Mike Tauchman.
Keep in mind, Wade has one option left and Tauchman was garnering considerable trade interest this offseason, so the Yankees have plenty of potential outs.
Is Tyler Wade not “locked in” to a roster spot with the Yankees?
Bruce feels like he’ll be heading north with the team when you consider his slight defensive versatility, veteran presence, and lefty power bat. If we were to guess who’d get the last spot, we’d probably say Wade, solely given his ability to play adequate defense up the middle, but fans aren’t exactly thrilled with that prospect because his bat is still lagging behind tremendously.
But then you look at the other options. Dietrich hasn’t exactly turned heads (yet) this spring outside of a few hit by pitches, Ford has done little to convince the team he deserves the backup first baseman job, and while Tauchman is good, there’s really no need for another outfielder if Bruce were to make the team.
That could leave us with Ford getting optioned (he has two left), Dietrich getting left behind, and Tauchman getting traded for another piece. But what if the Yankees ditch Wade? Then that pretty much means they’d have to carry Dietrich because of his infield versatility on the defensive side of the ball.
All in all, it’s really feeling like Ford and Tauchman are the odd men out, while every other option has some sort of a chance to break camp.
The discussions will continue in full force until a decision is made and fans can expect this to go down to wire. Just how we envisioned, right?