Chad Jennings passed along the press release announcing the Yanks' 20 non-roster invites.
My breakdown: The only spots really up for grabs on the defending World Series Champions' roster are a power bat off the bench/ backup outfielder, infield bench, and a reliever or two.
I find it interesting that there's no one on the list to compete with Ramiro Pena, Kevin Russo, Eduardo Nunez and Reegie Corona.
25th Man Competition:
Marcus Thames (LF-Bench)- if he has a good camp, he should have no trouble pushing either Greg Golson or Jamie Hoffman off the roster
Lightning in a Bottle:
Wilkins Arias (LHRP), Royce Ring (LHRP)- both are the longest of long shots because Marte will make the team. They've got to be a better option than any of the players Travis is outlining in his Bullpen Hopefuls series- the way I think it could happen is if the brass decides that Aceves is enough of a long man to drop Gaudin/Mitre from the race.
Minor League Depth:
Colin Curtis (LF), Reid Gorecki (RF-CF), Jon Weber (RF), Dave Winfree (RF)
PJ Pilettere (C), Mike Rivera (C)
Jason Hirsh (RHSP), Kei Igawa (LHSP), Amaury Sanit (RHRP), Grant Duff (RHRP), Zach Sergovia (RHSP)- I suppose any of these pitchers could be in the Lightning category, but I don't see it happening.
Have a Cup of Coffee and We'll See You Soon:
Jeremy Bleich (LHSP A+ or AA), Zach McAllister (RHSP AAA), Kevin Whelan (RHRP AAA)
Jesus Montero (C AAA), Austine Romine (C AA)
I've been waiting for Zach McAllister to arrive for a long time (when does man-crush turn into minor league stalking?). I kept hoping he'd get a spot start last season, but it didn't happen. He figured out how to make his 6'6" frame work in 2008, and with his heavy sinker, he's allowed only 231 hits in 272 innings the last 2 seasons. Better yet, he's walked only 54 batters in that span.
I know the front office (and some fans) don't like the worm killer approach, but here are CMW's AA numbers:
1.35 WHIP, 2.26 BB/9, 9.9 H/9, 6.78 K/9
Here's McAllister AA:
1.08 WHIP, 2.5 BB/9, 7.3 H/9, 7.1 K/9
He'll be 22 all season. This could be a very good year.