This week's installment of the Making the Team Meter will be the final one for the season. Four weeks of spring training have come and gone, and Opening Day is only a week away. That means that the final roster decisions have to be made in just a few short days. There aren't a ton of people left after all of the recent cuts, and those left in camp are the ones who are showcasing themselves for a spot later in the year.
If you're new to the Making the Team Meter posts, we try to gauge each player without a guaranteed spot on the roster's chances of making the Opening Day squad. We take into consideration that all players are not created equal. Some could bat 1.000 in spring and still be sent to the minors, while another could bat .100 and still have a spot on the big league team. To measure those chances, here is the legend used:
Here's how the meter shook out this week with far, far fewer names to sort through.
Basically all that is left to decide is whether John Ryan Murphy or Austin Romine will be the backup catcher. It is presumed that the job will go to the superior player in Murphy while the Yankees explore trade options for Romine, who is out of options. Neither one has hit well at all, so a judgment can't really be made there. It would be an upset if the Yankees decided to go with Romine instead, but rumors circulated this past week that Gary Sanchez is headed back to Double-A Trenton to start the year, which leaves the starting job in Triple-A open if the team decides to keep Romine and send Murphy back down.
The utility infield job was always going to go to Brendan Ryan if he managed to overcome an early spring training injury, and it seems that he has successfully done so. Unless the team decides to take an extra bat instead of an extra pitcher, which seems unlikely with their plan to give Masahiro Tanaka extra rest, it's possible that they could bring along one of the other backup types to serve as a bat off the bench. The best chance for that sort of lived and died with Jose Pirela, who suffered a setback while trying to recover from his concussion. He almost certainly won't be ready for Opening Day, and almost certainly will be heading to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre once he is healthy.
If there is one overwhelming feeling to take away from what we've seen in spring training, it's that the prospects have shown that the future is bright. So many of the kids that we have heard about and looked forward to came up and performed incredibly well. It has been a long time since Yankees fans had prospects of this caliber to look forward to in the very near future. Some of them could make an impact as early as later this season. Of the minor leaguers who were in camp, Luis Severino, Aaron Judge, Greg Bird, Rob Refsnyder, Jacob Lindgren, Slade Heathcott, Mason Williams, Nick Rumbelow, Tyler Webb, and Pirela all made a big positive impact. That's very good news for the team's future.