Brian Cashman met with the Yankees’ media through Zoom during the team’s final spring training game of the season on Monday and covered a number of topics. Rather than putting them up as a number of different FanShots or waiting until the overnight news, we’ll cover them all here.
Infielder Tyler Wade and pitchers Nick Nelson and Michael King have made the Opening Day roster. Obviously, none of these players are expected to play absolutely essential roles on this team, as Wade will be on the bench and the two arms will be in the bullpen, but it clarifies the roster situation a little bit. Don’t expect Mike Tauchman to go anywhere either, as Cashman said that there wasn’t a fit from the offers he received. There is still one spot left to fill on the 26-man roster, and Lucas Luetge still seems like he’s in decent shape to grab it.
In the injury department, Luke Voit will undergo his planned knee surgery tonight, and reliever Justin Wilson will indeed begin the season on the injured list. Voit will be shut down for three weeks and probably won’t be back until May at the earliest, but Wilson should not miss as much time. As previously noted, the MRI on Wilson’s left shoulder did not indicate anything serious, but it does indeed seem to be responding to rest. Wilson threw a bullpen on Monday and should only be away for the team for a short stint.
Cashman had a small update on reliever Zack Britton too, who had surgery to remove bone chips in his left elbow earlier in March. The team expects him to follow a fairly standard recovery timeline for this kind of injury, and he should return in “late May or June.” As soon as Britton is ready to rejoin the bullpen, manager Aaron Boone will be delighted. The lefty is such a valuable member of the relief corps.
Aaron Judge caused a brief scare when he was held out of the lineup on Monday afternoon after not having played since Friday. However, Boone clarified the absence during a mid-game interview — Saturday was a planned off-day and Judge was simply under the weather on Monday:
Aaron Judge was “under the weather” and had to go through MLB protocols, Aaron Boone said on YES. He has cleared and will go with the team to NY.— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) March 29, 2021
Cashman confirmed that Judge passed COVID-19 protocols, so we can all collectively exhale (for now). Next up for Judge? Opening Day on Thursday.
The Yankees also did some minor spring training cleanup, too. Recently-released veterans Robinson Chirinos and Derek Dietrich have agreed to go to the alternate site to begin the season. Dietrich will stay in game shape in case the Yankees need him to step in for anyone in the early goings, and Chirinos will rehab his broken wrist with the hope of perhaps getting a shot sometime down the road if Gary Sánchez or Kyle Higashioka gets hurt. Chirinos is reportedly hoping to be back in game shape by late April or early May.
The Yankees released pitcher Jhoulys Chacín, who came to spring training as a non-roster invitee as well. The 33-year-old righty was in camp with the team but got smoked in his first two games. For what it’s worth, Chacín did fare better in three subsequent outings, and ultimately decided to exercise the opt-out in his contract, forcing the Yankees to let him go.
We’ll keep you posted if anything else breaks.