Let's conclude our occasional series on New York Yankee bullpen hopefuls with a look at a handful of pitchers who are not on the 40-man roster but will be in camp. It's a long-shot for most of these guys as you would think they are little more than AAA depth, but you never know.
Royce Ring: Here is how the Scranton Times-Tribune described Ring:
Who: A 29-year-old lefty and 2002 first-round pick who has been dominant in Triple-A (3.16 ERA, 1.36 WHIP) but mediocre (4.93 ERA, 1.55 WHIP) during four big-league seasons.
What’s on the line?: Ring is in an organization that hasn’t been able to find a decent lefty out of the pen, then traded away the one it had last year (Phil Coke). A decent camp might get him some consideration. A great one might get him a job.
Can he make the team?: Yes. He’s three years removed from his days as a legit prospect, but Ring’s big league splits against lefties are much better than [Boone] Logan’s.
My take: If Logan has a shot at making the team as the 12th reliever and second lefty, you would have to thing Ring does as well. In reality, they are both journeyman lefties who keep getting opportunities because of the arm they throw with. You hope like crazy they won't be important to your team, but somehow guys like this are always ON your team.
Kei Igawa: I don't want him. You don't want him. The Yankees don't want him. But they are still stuck with him, and they are still paying him a boatload of money. So, I suppose you have to include him -- even though he is not on the 40-man roster.
Jason Hirsh: Acquired from Colorado as pitching depth last season, Hirsh probably fills the AAA Josh Towers type role this season. But, who knows? Highly unlikely he pitches his way on to the Opening Day roster. Not beyond comprehension, though, that he finds himself in New York for a couple days here and there during the season.
You know, even if Hirsh never pitches for the Yankees he has already given us this memorable moment.
Zack Segovia: This is a guy I know nothing about other than what I could find on Baseball-Reference.com. He is a 27-year-old right-hander who pitched in 8 games with the Nationals last season and had an unsightly 7.84 ERA. The Yankees signed him as a minor-league free agent last month. Apparently, he was once a highly-touted prospect in the Philadelphia system.
There are other guys who will be in camp, including several young prospects. Realistically, though, there aren't many guys with a real shot at the last spot or two on the staff.