We are now in week two of spring training, and we’re starting to get a sense of who exactly is going to make the team and who will be left behind. The Yankees didn’t have many openings to begin with, though several several spots remain up for grabs. In the end, it all depends on how players do in the next few weeks. Like last week, we can consult our Making the Team Meter to see who has improved their chances, and who has done poorly.
Be sure to consult the legend below to be sure you know what you’re looking at. Some commentary on the chart should also help. It’s still early, so not many players have moved around too much. Some players still have time to change things around because nothing has been set in stone yet.
The Yankees announced their first round of cuts last night, but it was no one who was expected to make the team. right-handed pitchers Cale Coshow, Raynel Espinal, and Dillon Tate, left-handers Justus Sheffield and Trevor Lane, and catcher Chace Numata were all cut and reassigned to minor league camp. If you don’t recognize some of those names, that’s okay.
The Yankees don’t really have a spot open in the starting rotation, which is good because the alternatives haven’t done much. Domingo Acevedo has yet to pitch, and both Luis Cessa and Sheffield have pitched poorly. Chance Adams will have time to make an impression, but is unlikely to make the team without some kind of injury occurring.
Things are a little more open when it comes to the final role in the bullpen. There are a few pitchers who are in contention, like Jonathan Holder and Ben Heller, but it could ultimately end up as a two-man race. Chasen Shreve would give the Yankees a true situational lefty, while Domingo German could serve as the team’s longman. It really comes down to what Aaron Boone prefers to have on Opening Day.
Not much has changed when it comes to the position players. The infield competition is still going to involve Tyler Wade, Ronald Torreyes, Gleyber Torres, and probably Danny Espinosa, just because. Depending how things shake out, it is likely that one or two of these players will make the team. Torres has not hit well thus far, so if he doesn’t pick it up, the Yankees won’t even have to make an excuse to send him down.
Injuries to Jacoby Ellsbury and Clint Frazier have opened some room in the outfield, but it’s hard to say if it means much in the long run. Estevan Florial has been impressive, but he’s ticketed for the minors. The only position player who has increased his stop in the last week is Billy McKinney, who is hitting the ball very well right now. If Ellsbury needs to start the season on the disabled list, McKinney is the guy to watch out for.
Austin Romine will likely retain his backup role, unless he sustains a prolonged injury. After signing him to a minor league deal, the Yankees probably prefer Adam Lind get the backup first baseman job over Tyler Austin, if such a role is needed.
Who do you think will make the team out of spring training? Let us know in the comments!
UPDATE: The Yankees made another round of roster cuts this evening.
ROSTER MOVES: The Yankees have optioned RHPs Albert Abreu and Jonathan Loaisiga to Single-A Tampa and optioned INF Thairo Estrada to Double-A Trenton.— Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) March 9, 2018
Albert Abreu, Jonathan Loaisiga, and Thairo Estrada were optioned to minor league camp. There are still a number of decisions to be made as spring training rolls on.