The Yankees haven't encountered an entirely unexpected injury issue during Spring Training just yet, but the natural attrition that strikes every team has begun to slice pieces off their projected roster.
So far, the Yankees' main concern lies in the bullpen, where offseason acquisition Tommy Kahnle will miss around a month with biceps tendinitis (we hope), and is currently in the midst of a 10-day no-throw. Additionally, prize 2022 rookie Ron Marinaccio has thrown bullpen sessions and purports to be fully recovered from the shin issue that knocked him off the map last year, but has yet to get into any game action.
Combine that with Jonathan Loaisiga's trip to the World Baseball Classic, and there are some additional bullpen reps to go around these days.
Gone are the days of the Yankees relying too heavily on Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton and Chad Green, however. There are plenty of live arms in camp, many of whom would've been banished unfairly to Triple-A if not for this mid-camp injury trouble. Kahnle and anyone who follows him to the IL will certainly be missed, but there are a few Yankee longshots who could sneak right in and dominate if given the chance.
These Yankees players could sneak onto the 2023 Opening Day roster
Matt Krook, LHP
The days of all but mandating two left-handers in every bullpen are long gone, thanks to the three-batter minimum installed a few years back. Now, having a lefty to match up with left-handed sluggers isn't very appealing, unless that lefty can also handle batters from the other side of the plate. Bringing someone in to retire Bryce Harper, only to watch them get torched by Rhys Hoskins, definitely sucks.
If the Yankees don't have a lefty to rock alongside Wandy Peralta, it won't be the end of the world. That said, minor-league starter Matt Krook has certainly been bringing the fire thus far, and could fit right in in the bullpen pecking order if the opportunity arises.
The 28-year-old ex-Rays hurler has been given an earnest shot to impress this preseason, and has delivered, buzzsawing the competition in five innings across two outings. Krook has yet to allow an earned run, surrendering just a pair of hits and a walk while striking out seven.
Odds are he was already in competition with returning stalwart Albert Abreu for the final bullpen spot, but after Kahnle's injury, an additional lane probably opened up for him.