Predicting the New York Yankees Opening Day Roster

The New York Yankees, one of baseball’s most storied franchises, had themselves quite an offseason. Between the Giancarlo Stanton acquisition and the ultimately fruitless push for Gerrit Cole, it seemed as though general manager Brian Cashman kept the Yankees in the news all winter. But with talent comes tough cuts at the end of spring training. Take a look at the predicted roster for Opening Day 2018.

Hitters: 

Gary Sanchez, Catcher

Austin Romine, Catcher

Greg Bird*, First Base

Tyler Austin, First Base/Outfield

Brandon Drury. Utility

Ronald Torreyes, Infield

Didi Gregorius*, Shortstop

Miguel Andujar, Third Base

Brett Gardner*, Outfield

Jacoby Ellsbury*, Outfield

Aaron Hicks#, Outfield

Aaron Judge, Outfield

Giancarlo Stanton, Outfield

*- Bats left-handed, #- Switch-hitter

Pitchers: 

Luis Severino, RHP

Sonny Gray, RHP

Masahiro Tanaka, RHP

Jordan Montgomery, LHP

CC Sabathia, LHP

Chad Green, RHP

Adam Warren, RHP

Tommy Kahnle, RHP

David Robertson, RHP

Chasen Shreve, LHP

Dellin Betances, RHP

Aroldis Chapman, LHP

For those wondering where Gleyber Torres is, have no fear, he will be in New York soon enough. Think Kris Bryant with the Cubs in 2015, when the big league club sent him to Triple-A briefly at the beginning of the season in order to gain another year of service time. When the time comes, Torreyes could very well be the odd man out once Torres receives his promotion. Torreyes, while a serviceable backup in the middle infield, is not a longterm answer by any means.

The December trade of Starlin Castro opened a spot for Torres, and it might also have left Tyler Wade out in the cold. Wade struggled in his late-season time in the majors, and he could be trade bait in a package for a starting pitcher. Austin and Drury can both play multiple positions, giving new manager Aaron Boone some flexibility. If Andujar continues his torrid spring start and proves that his bat has caught up to his strong defense, Boone should have no problem in turning the third base job over to the rookie, with Drury likely sliding into the second base slot.

In terms of pitching, there is not much missing here. Would another proven starter help? Of course, but that would just be nitpicking. The bullpen may be the best in baseball, with Green, Robertson, Betances, and Chapman likely to be the main components. Warren and Green both have starting experience and can fill in after an injury when necessary.

Ben Heller, Jonathan Holder, Giovanny Gallegos, and Domingo German all have major league experience but will likely begin the year in the minors. Right-hander Domingo Acevedo has impressed in the minors, with his fastball reaching 103 MPH. All five are candidates to be called up in the case of a bullpen injury, and all will likely see time in September.

The real X-factor for this staff is Tanaka. Tanaka enjoyed success in his first three seasons with the club before struggling to a 4.74 ERA in 2017. A return to form would go a long way in solidifying a potentially elite starting rotation.

A star-studded roster makes Boone’s initial foray into managing easier than other first-time jobs. Still, Boone needs to prove that Cashman and other decision-makers chose correctly. As in most cases, winning can silence any critics.

One Response

  1. Sunil Pandya

    “If Andujar continues his torrid spring start and proves that his bat has caught up to his strong defense, Boone should have no problem in turning the third base job over to the rookie”. Is this a typo? Andujar has a proven bat, it has always been his glove that needs to catch up.

    Reply

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