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Yankees complete Opening Day roster, make final spring cuts

The Yankees’ 28-man roster solidifies as spring training concludes.

MLB: Spring Training-Pittsburgh Pirates at New York Yankees
Yankees second baseman Marwin Gonzalez (14) reacts after hitting a two run home run
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

As the Yankees prepare to take the field for their final game of the spring in about an hour, the roster they’ll take north to face Boston on Opening Day continued to crystallize. In the latest round of moves, one position player makes the team, and two others find themselves optioned to Triple-A. Meanwhile, we also get confirmation on the final two pitchers to make the club.

Former Astro Marwin Gonzalez, signed by the Yankees to a minor-league contract earlier in the spring, finds himself a New York Yankee after playing his way onto the 28-man roster. González absolutely raked this spring (in limited at-bats, of course), to the tune of a .350 batting average, 1.231 OPS, and three home runs. They will need to clear a 40-man roster spot for him*, but he has been told that he’s made the team.

*The 40-man spot will not be cleared by injured reliever Stephen Ridings. Although he was indeed placed on the 60-day IL today with a right shoulder impingement, that was the move to clear room for Triple-A reliever David McKay, who they acquired from the Rays yesterday. The Yankees ultimately made room for Marwin by designating recently-claimed outfielder Jeisson Rosario for assignment.

Gonzalez also offers the Yankees positional versatility and another veteran in the clubhouse. Over the course of his career, he has accumulated at least 456 at-bats at every infield position other than catcher — important since he’ll be another alternate shortstop rather than only having Gleyber Torres around to back up Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Furthermore, he has more than 700 career at-bats in the outfield, with the vast majority of those in left field.

Headed to Triple-A, on the other hand, are outfielder Tim Locastro and Miguel Andújar. Neither man played poorly this spring. Indeed, Miggy hit over .300 in his opportunities and generated hard contact twice on Sunday. Alas, the numbers crunch comes for everyone eventually. This is merely an observation, but it really feels like I am watching Andújar’s tenure as a Yankee come to an end. For Locastro, since the Yankees are operating a three-man bench to start the season, he might end up coming back up when the starting pitchers are more stretched out.

As I was finishing this off, news broke that Clarke Schmidt and Ron Marinaccio made the big club as the final two arms.

Marinaccio will be making his MLB debut after being initially drafted in the 19th round of the 2017 MLB Draft. The 26-year-old right-hander had a 2.04 ERA, 0.935 WHIP, and 14.2 K/9 in 66.1 innings last year between Double-A and Triple-A.

Schmidt is a more familiar face to Yankees fans, as he has been a notable prospect in the system for a few years. The team’s top pick of that 2017 draft, he has battled injuries but made it to the majors for five games between 2020-21. Another 26-year-old righty, Schmidt has yet to put it all together but still has quite a bit of potential. Aaron Boone seems to see him in a semi-hybrid swingman role for now.

Barring further changes, it looks like we finally have a 28-man roster ready and raring to go for Opening Day on Thursday Friday afternoon against the Red Sox.

Catchers (2): Kyle Higashioka, Jose Trevino

Infielders (6): Anthony Rizzo, DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Josh Donaldson, Marwin Gonzalez

Outfielders (4): Joey Gallo, Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton

Starting Pitchers (5): Gerrit Cole, Luis Severino, Jordan Montgomery, Jameson Taillon, Nestor Cortes

Bullpen (11): Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, Jonathan Loáisiga, Clay Holmes, Miguel Castro, Lucas Luetge, Wandy Peralta, Michael King, JP Sears, Clarke Schmidt, Ron Marinaccio

Folks, I give you your 2022 New York Yankees (at least for now). Now, if Opening Day could get here, that would be just great.