We’re two weeks in to Yankees spring training games, which means that it’s time to check in on the players who have a chance to crack the Opening Day roster. If you missed our week one update, you can find that here.
As always, here is our Making the Team Meter grading key:
Red is predictably bad, yellow means maybe, and green is as close to making the team as possible.
Last week, we thought the Yankees had their Opening Day pitching pretty much set aside from the last man in the bullpen. Then Luis Severino was scratched from his spring debut with rotator cuff inflammation and threw everything into chaos. The right-hander received a cortisone shot on Wednesday, and is expected to be shutdown for the next two weeks. Even if everything goes according to plan, there’s very little chance that he will be ready to join the rotation when the season starts.
Aaron Boone also announced that CC Sabathia will start the season on the injured list. Between his offseason heart surgery and knee surgery, he is far behind the other pitchers in camp and will need an extra two weeks to get ready. When he is finally activated, he will be required to serve a five-game suspension.
In other words, the Opening Day rotation has dwindled to just James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, and J.A. Happ. That’s good news for the likes of Luis Cessa, Domingo German, and Jonathan Loaisiga, since the Bombers are inclined to move forward with their internal options.
Aaron Boone said that he believes Domingo German and Jonathan Loaisiga could both be in the rotation to begin the year.— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) March 6, 2019
We will continue to monitor this, but you get the sense that they’re making the rotation regardless of how they pitch over the next few weeks.
The Yankees haven’t made a big roster cut yet, but they did shuffle some pitchers around on Wednesday. Brady Lail and Trevor Stephan were both reassigned to minor league camp, while Domingo Acevedo was optioned to Double-A.
Danny Farquhar had another bad outing, so barring a surprise he won’t be making the team. He doesn’t look big-league ready yet, so maybe he’ll accept assignment to Triple-A. In a couple months, he could join the Scranton Shuttle.
This week, Aaron Boone reiterated that the Yankees won’t carry both Luke Voit and Greg Bird on the roster. “It’s tough for me to envision us having two first basemen, especially when I feel like (DJ) LeMahieu would be that guy that gets backup reps there.” It’s still unclear which first baseman is headed to Scranton, as both players have hit well.
As far as the last bench spot goes, Tyler Wade appears to have it locked up. Especially since the Yankees are expected to roll with Brett Gardner as their left fielder and prefer to send Clint Frazier to Triple-A. His only real chance to make the team out of spring training is if Aaron Hicks’ back injury doesn’t clear up. That’s something to keep an eye on.
Who do you think will win the first base job, and do you think we’ll really see both German and Loaisiga start the year in the rotation? Let us know in the comments.