Last Three on Yankees Roster: Matt Krook, LHP
Without either Schmidt and Domingo Germán in the bullpen to start the year, the Yankees would also like a swingman. Playing the role of JP Sears this season, it's 28-year-old former Rays left-hander Matt Krook!
A longshot to make the roster entering the spring -- even though he'd opened eyes by delivering 155 Ks in 138.2 innings last year at Triple-A -- Krook now has a pretty good shot to grab the final open bullpen role/absorb longman innings in the early going.
Sadly, that also means he'll be the first one back to the minors on the Scranton Shuttle and probably won't see a non-blowout (in either direction) for several weeks. He's impressed in four longer outings this spring, striking out a predictable 13 in 10 innings (with an excellent 3.60 ERA/"meh" 1.30 WHIP). Expect a short, two-week stint to open the campaign, followed by a return in late May or early June.
Last Three on Yankees Roster: Estevan Florial, OF
Florial won't reach the Triple-A roster if he doesn't make the bigs; this spring was the former top prospect's last stand, as he's now out of minor-league options. So far, he's hit just .182 in 33 at-bats in February and March, knocking a home run (during a non-televised game) and stealing five bases. Florial, as the 26th man, would provide the Yankees outfield defense and game-changing speed, but after several extended trials in the bigs, it appears his bat doesn't translate.
That said ... after sticking with him all these years, are they really going to lose him for nothing? The possible wild card here, of course, is both Florial and Rafael Ortega being brought north, with Kiner-Falefa sent packing in a "blockbuster" preseason trade.
Ortega, despite two home runs during camp, hasn't really blown anyone away, either; he's got only four hits. If one has to go, expect it to the be the player with less familiarity. Hopefully, the Yankees find a way to keep both, while somehow maneuvering Willie Calhoun to Triple-A.