Now that we are in Week Three of spring training, things are starting to come into place in regards to the Opening Day roster. Not everything has been finalized just yet, but a good amount of cuts in the last few days have really narrowed things down. There were even a few surprises in the mix to really keep us on our toes. Let’s refer to the Making the Team Meter to see who is left and which of them will actually make it.
Remember to consult the legend to keep track of who is in the best position to make the roster. Quite a few players have been cast out of the running since the last update we had.
This week’s round of cuts include right-handed pitchers Albert Abreu, Domingo Acevedo, and Jonathan Loaisiga, catcher Kyle Higashioka, and infielders Thairo Estrada, Kyle Holder, and Gleyber Torres. The surprise signing of Neil Walker affected a few players as well, with the Yankees designating outfielder Jake Cave for assignment and releasing infielder Danny Espinosa.
Pitching has really come down to one simple decision for Brian Cashman and Aaron Boone. It comes down to whether they want to bring Chasen Shreve up north or think someone else is more worthy of his roster spot. Since Shreve is out of options now, they have to consider if he’s worth holding onto. As for alternatives, Domingo German has impressed so far and Jonathan Holder has kept pace. There are still a few alternatives available, but they would be a real shock.
The Yankees signing Walker has really put the starting infield into place with him and Brandon Drury likely to fill the two previously open spots. As a direct result of the signing, Torres has been cut from big league camp. Despite the hype, he just didn’t perform in the small amount of time he was allotted, but that’s okay. It also means that Tyler Wade is less likely to make the team in the end.
Austin Romine has been assured a place on the roster with Kyle Higashioka getting cut. Jacoby Ellsbury has yet to return to game action, and with no idea if he will be ready in time for the start of the season, look for Billy McKinney to snag a roster spot for the time being.
This leaves two spots open for extra bench roles with Wade, Ronald Torreyes, Adam Lind, Miguel Andujar, and Tyler Austin left standing. The final decision could come down to whether or not Boone feels like he needs a designated backup first baseman or prefers the best overall performers. It has been said that Walker can play some first, but otherwise it’s up to one of Lind or Austin. Andujar’s lack of versatility ultimately sinks his chances, though Torreyes and Wade are likely the most deserving to make it.
UPDATE: The Yankees have officially released Adam Lind from his minor league deal, so either Tyler Austin is making this team or Neil Walker will be the backup first baseman. This would allow both Torreyes and Wade to make the team as bench players.