This is it: the last Making the Team Meter post of 2016 before Opening Day next week. 12 players remain in our tracker, but there's still no concise answer on who will be making the Yankees roster out of spring training. We have a pretty good idea, but we'll just have to wait for the official announcement in a few days. As always, use our legend to interpret the chart below.
This week, the Yankees cut three relievers from big league camp, including Diego Moreno, James Pazos, and Nick Rumbelow. Moreno stuck around for a while, but he never pitched well enough to be a serious consideration for the team. Prospects Pazos and Rumbelow really disappointed with their awful performances this spring. Both were considered to have good chances to make the team, but neither were able to step up and seize the opportunity. Pazos especially had a wide opening once Jacob Lindgren was cut after the first week. All three should be bullpen options over the length of the season.
The remaining pitchers left in camp can help us easily determine who is lined up for a bullpen spot. Luis Cessa surprised the Yankees this spring with a very good spring. His lack of Triple-A experience eliminated him from an MLB job, but if he heads there and performs well, it shouldn't be long before he gets a chance with the big league team. Anthony Swarzak was very hittable, but he managed to minimize the damage, all things considering. He will likely be sitting in Triple-A for a majority of the season.
Nick Goody was another reliever who disappointed this spring by surrendering six (6) home runs in just 9.2 innings. It's interesting that he's remained with the team for so long while still getting beat up, but it's probably not something you can read too much into. Tyler Olson has pitched too poorly to make the team, but his left arm has made him an interesting option for the Yankees. He's probably someone we will see a lot of this year if they want an extra left-handed option at some point during the season.
It's pretty easy to see that Chasen Shreve will be on the Opening Day roster. He's been the pre-September machine he was last year all spring. Bryan Mitchell was recently told that he will make the roster after performing too well to send down to the minors. He's traditionally been used as a starting pitcher at Triple-A and a longman in the big leagues, but with Ivan Nova filling that role, Mitchell will be used as a reliever. He briefly showed some promise out of the bullpen last year, and it will be interesting to see how he performs when he gets regular work.
The final two bullpen spots are still undecided, but we can probably figure that Branden Pinder will win one of them. He has extensive major league experience from last season, and was one of the better relievers in camp. After that, it comes down to either Johnny Barbato or Kirby Yates. Barbato deserves to be on the roster after how well he has pitched, but Yates has more experience, which the Yankees could prefer as they open up the season. Regardless of who they pick, the New York bullpen will have some promising right-handed fire power available to them–which is something they needed a lot of last year.
Well this is surprising:
The @Yankees option RHPs Nick Goody and Branden Pinder and LHP Tyler Olson to @swbrailriders and reassign them to minor league camp.— Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) March 30, 2016
With Pinder now sent down, it sounds like both Yates and Barbato could make the Opening Day roster, though Swarzak and Cessa are still hanging around, which makes me wonder.