clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Yankees Spring Training: There's only one open roster spot for position players

There's no one in camp that can fill all their needs.

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees have a total of 66 players in spring training this year, 40 from the roster and another 26 brought in as Non-Roster Invitees. From these players, we will find out who is going to make the 2014 Opening Day roster. There are certainly a few spots on the roster that are up for grabs, however, there is really only one free spot left to be awarded and there's no easy answer as to who will fill it.

Generally, teams go with 12 pitchers and 13 position players on their 25-man roster, so if we assume that they will have five starting pitchers and seven relievers, we can move onto the position players. The Yankees will obviously have Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, Brett Gardner, and Carlos Beltran on the team. Alfonso Soriano will serve as a DH and backup outfielder, Brendan Ryan will be the backup shortstop, Kelly Johnson will play third, and Brian Roberts was already awarded the starting second base job. It doesn't matter who ends up as the backup catcher, because we know they'll have two catchers on the roster. Unless the Yankees decide to go with one backup outfielder (Johnson could play the corners), Ichiro Suzuki will also be on the team. That's 12 position players, leaving them room for one more.

The problem is that the Yankees still have more needs than their options can fill. They need someone to platoon at third base with Johnson, probably someone to platoon at second base with Roberts, and a backup first baseman would be nice as well. I'm thinking the Yankees like Scott Sizemore, and if he shows he's healthy, he could be the favorite to make the team as a potential third baseman and second baseman. When it comes to first base, the only player in camp who can pass as a first baseman is Russ Canzler (who can also play third). Only one can really make the team, so which will they value more?

As great as the Yankees were at going out and getting big name players, they did an incredibly awful job at filling the roster with useful pieces. They brought in all these players for spring training, but none of them can really give them what they need as a reliable option. If Jeter or Teixeira or Roberts go down, what are they going to do? They still don't have much Triple-A depth and the depth they do have probably can't produce at even a replacement player-level

The Yankees constructed a roster built to succeed in the event that absolutely everything goes exactly right. You would think after a season like 2013, they could figure out a way to both improve and become more stable. Maybe I'm worrying too much, but after nearly $500 million spent, it would be nice to have more confidence in this team.