The Yankees announced their list of non-roster invitees for this spring, bringing an additional 23 players with them alongside their 40-man roster. Despite the amount of talent that will be in camp this year, there were still a few players who didn’t make the cut who probably should have. Five players stand out as snubs as we get ready for spring training.
Albert Abreu, RHP
Age as of Opening Day: 21
2016 stats (A+/A-): 3.72 ERA, 10.2 K/9, 5.1 BB/9, 0.6 HR/9, 101.2 IP, 24 G/16 GS
Following his acquisition from the Astros for Brian McCann, I would have assumed that Abreu would get an invite to spring training to acclimate him to the organization. After all, he is now their no. 10 prospect and they invited their no. 6 in Justus Sheffield. While he did only reach as high as High-A in 2016, his control proved to be far too problematic to ignore.
Domingo Acevedo, RHP
Age as of Opening Day: 23
2016 stats (A+/A-): 2.61 ERA, 9.9 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, 0.4 HR/9, 93.0 IP, 18 GS
Like Abreu, Acevedo didn’t go any further than High-A this year, however, as the team’s no. 8 prospect, you would expect him to be there this spring. The biggest thing about him is that he has yet to pitch an entire season. He missed almost all of May this year but was able to rack up innings because he went deep into games. He looked really good this year, so you would have to think his relative inexperience kept him from getting an invite.
Jake Cave, OF
Age as of Opening Day: 24
2016 stats (AA/AAA): 116 G, 470 PA, .268/.330/.427, 8 HR, 6 SB, 55 RBI
Last year, Cave wasn’t protected from the Rule 5 Draft and was taken by the Cincinnati Reds before being returned toward the end of spring training. After two teams rejected him, he went on to have a decent season but couldn’t do much better than the year before. Cave was passed up in this year’s Rule 5 and he still received no spring invite, despite this being his seventh season in the organization. He will be a minor league free agent next offseason but it looks like they have already lost interest.
Ian Clarkin, LHP
Age as of Opening Day: 22
2016 stats (A+): 3.31 ERA, 6.6 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 0.4 HR/9, 98.0 IP, 18 GS
After missing the entire 2015 regular season with an elbow injury, Clarkin returned to the mound and put together a nice little comeback for himself. It didn’t put up eye-popping numbers, but he also didn’t struggle too badly in a year where you just want to know that he’s healthy. Despite missing almost a whole year of development time, he’s still young enough to make up for it down the line. The Yankees probably just want him focused on getting ready for the season.
Matt Wotherspoon, RHP
Age as of Opening Day: 25
2016 stats (AA/AAA): 2.50 ERA, 8.8 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 0.4 HR/9, 90.0 IP, 36 G
The only player on this list who is not a top prospect might be the biggest snub of all. Former 34th round pick Matt Wotherspoon put together a strong season in the upper minors as a reliever. Given the team’s need for relief pitching, he seemed like a perfect candidate for an invite to spring training. If he keeps things going this year, he will definitely get a chance in the majors at some point.
Other snubs: Billy McKinney OF, Dillon Tate RHP
Keep in mind that even though they made their initial announcement concerning invitees, it doesn’t mean that they won’t invite more in the next few weeks. Last year, the Yankees ended up inviting Kyle Haynes and Mark Montgomery after their initial announcement, and there’s no reason why they couldn’t do the same thing again.