Yankees Hot Corner – The 25 Man roster is set
It’s crazy to think that the New York Yankees’ season starts this Thursday in Baltimore, but it’s almost Opening Day. With Opening Day around the corner, the Yankees set their 25 man roster. There will be a full season preview later in the week, but there were both some great decisions and some questionable ones on the 25 man roster. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter because this roster could look completely different after the trade deadline, especially with all the injuries the Yankees have had, but it’s always good to keep the Yankees’ brass honest.
They got it right
We don’t need to go over the entire roster because the guys who are already shoo-ins were going to make the team either way. The two names that were brought up consistently during Spring Training that have been given a shot on the roster are Stephen Tarpley and Luis Cessa.
Tarpley pitched so well in ten games (11 IP, 0 R, 6H, 8K) that he won the 2019 James P. Dawson Award, given to the top Yankees rookie in Spring Training. It’s a well deserved honor and was the icing on the cake to Tarpley’s promotion.
As for Cessa, it’s a long time coming for the talented but inconsistent pitcher. Cessa pitched 17 innings in Spring Training, tops on the team, and pitched to the tune of a 0.63 ERA. The issue with Cessa was always efficiency, as he just couldn’t get his way out of an inning and his short, methodical starts put a strain on the bullpen. With Cessa looking refreshed, he falls into a hybrid fifth starter/long bullpen role that he’s well suited for.
Time will tell
There are really only two “time will tell” moves the Yankees made, and that of course is the promotion of Domingo German once again and the option to have both Greg Bird and Luke Voit on the Opening Day roster. For German, he slots into the fourth or fifth spot in the rotation and has all the pressure in the world on him. It’s not that he necessarily has to be the next Luis Severino, but with Jonathan Loaisiga and Gio Gonzalez waiting in the wings, he has a very short leash to show Aaron Boone and Co. they made the right decision.
The Bird/Voit decision makes a little more sense, especially considering that Aaron Hicks will start the year on the IL. What will most likely happen is that Bird gets the majority of starts at first base due to this superior defense, and Voit will get the majority of DH time because Giancarlo Stanton will be filling in Left Field as Brett Gardner shifts over to Center Field.
Time will tell on that decision because one of the guys they left out, who is of course on the “What are they doing?” list, could have filled in nicely in the outfield. What probably happened was the Yankees want to keep both Voit and Bird fresh and because the two both played so well in Spring Training, they both deserved a spot.
What are they doing?
Over the weekend, the Yankees recently traded away LHP prospect Phillip Diehl in exchange for OF Mike Tauchman, a high touted AAA player from the Rockies organization. Although not much is known about Tauchman’s potential, he can play all three outfield spots, hit .323 with 20 HR and 81 RBI in the minors last season and somewhat fills a void the Yankees desperately need.
However, the acquisition of Tauchman bodes this question; What in the world did Tyler Wade do wrong? Wade is exactly the kind of player the Yankees need; a utility do-it-all baseball player who plays excellent defense both in the infield and outfield and has some pop when needed. According to Aaron Boone, the Yankees needed an “outfielder”.
Wade was visibly upset when sent down and rightfully so. He honed his craft in the outfield after Aaron Hicks went down early in Spring Training and did everything that was asked of him up to that point. If he had been sent down because of his performance like Clint Frazier, it would make a bit more sense. Maybe the Yankees just don’t see him in their future, but this decision was puzzling.
As mentioned before, this 25 man roster has no bearing on what the team will actually look like come August 1st. The first pitch hasn’t even been thrown but there’s a lot to digest before this Yankees season starts. It’s most likely going to be a World Series or bust type season for the Yankees, and they are locked and loaded for a deep playoff run. As long as the injury bug doesn’t bite them again, they’re well on their way to the playoffs. It all starts here in Spring Training.
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