Every spring training, every team invites players to camp that likely have no chance at making the team. They are usually minor league journeymen who may have gotten a cup of coffee in the bigs, but not always. In some rare cases, like Yangervis Solarte in 2014, they play so well in spring that they force their way onto the opening day roster.
That does not happen most of the time. Most of the time, these players get cut from camp and end up usually in the minor leagues somewhere. Here is a look back at a some of the Yankees' spring training roster filler from the last couple seasons.
In 2015, Nick Nonnan went to camp with the Yankees after signing a minor league deal with the team in the offseason. Noonan tied for the second most games played in spring training. Shockingly, he of the career major league OPS+ of 40 did not do enough in those 24 games to make the team. He played part of the season in Triple-A for the Yankees, before being released in July. He signed with the Giants after that and was called up in September, where he hit .091/.167/.439.
Another 2015 invitee infielder was Jonathan Galvez. Unlike Noonan, Galvez had never appeared in the majors when he went to camp with the Yankees. He did not make the team after finishing spring with a slugging percentage lower than his on base percentage. (It was a .306 OBP, so it's not like that was high and he just didn't get an XBH.) He also went to Triple-A for the Yankees, playing 40 games for the RailRiders. Again his slugging was lower than his OBP. He was released before the season finished.
In 2014, the randoms tended to be more on the pitching side. One of them was Yoshinori Tateyama. Tateyama was most notable for playing parts of two seasons with the Rangers and throwing a screwball. He had finished the 2013 season with the RailRiders. He allowed just one run in his eight spring training innings, but the Yankees did not take a chance on the guy with a career 5.75 major league ERA. He briefly played for the RailRiders again in 2014 before being released and signing in Japan. He retired after the season.
Robert Coello also went to camp with the Yankees in 2014. He had previously played in the majors for the Red Sox, Blue Jays, and Angels. He did not make the team after finishing spring with a 33.00 ERA.
Robert Coello: Not good at baseball— Pinstripe Alley (@pinstripealley) March 5, 2014
Yeah. He will be playing in South Korea in 2016.
Gil Velazquez was a 1998 draft pick who went to spring training with the Yankees in 2013. After finishing with a spring OPS of .594, he did not make the team. After getting released by the Yankees in May 2013, he ended up signing with the Marlins, who put the 34-year-old into a game at the end of that season. He did not play organized ball in 2014 or 2015, but did play in the Mexican winter league this year. He OPSed .557.
And finally there is Matt Diaz. Diaz had actually played in parts of 10 major league seasons when he signed with the Yankees. In those 10 years, he had a combined 1863 plate appearances. He was an above average hitter for his career, but had a 65 OPS+ the previous season. He hit .200/.250/.200 and did not make the team. Like Velazquez, he ended playing in the majors for the Marlins in 2013. He got one hit in 18 at bats and has not played in the majors since.
This year, there will be several random players that will play for the Yankees in spring training. And because we are baseball nuts, we will watch them play. But once the season starts, their existence will be completely forgotten.