So one of the many New York Yankees related podcast that I listen to is the Talking’ Yanks podcast. And on Twitter they placed a thought provoking tweet.
How do you fill out the last 4 spots on the roster?
— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) March 5, 2018
The New York Yankees have two starting infield spots open at second and third base, as well as two open spot as an infield backups, and with that a myriad of options battling for the positions. The list includes Tyler Wade, Brandon Drury, Ronald Torreyes, Miguel Andujar, Gleyber Torres, Jace Peterson, Danny Espinosa, Kyle Holder, Tyler Austin and Adam Lind. Obviously a long list of players trying to take hold of only a few spots. 10 guys for only four spots on the coveted “Opening Day” roster.
Depending on who you speak to or where you get your Yankees news depends on who has the edge on the competition. Brian Cashman stated shortly after the acquisition pf Brandon Drury in the three team trade that his best position was third base and that he would be competing for that position, more over that the starting third base job was “His (Drury) job to lose”. Now if you’ve paid any attention to the games in spring training then you know that Miguel Andújar is playing like a man possessed and determined to make the big league ball club. Another man playing for that better tomorrow is Tyler Wade. Wade has always been known to have a good glove and that he is a good hitter without a lot of pop. In his short cameo stint with the Bombers in 2017 Wade did not show his true capabilities, however this spring he has shown off that tremendous glove, along with the ability to play all over the field. As well as the fact that this past off-season he worked out with future first ballot hall of fame Albert Pujols and the work that was put in and the changes in his stance and his approach have definitely been working.
Beyond theses two youngsters veteran players like Jace Peterson, Danny Espinosa, Tyler Austin and Adam Lind are trying to make their way on to the “Opening Day” roster as well. Then we have the host of the “Toe-Night Show” Ronald Torreyes who served as a wonderful backup infielder in 2017. But even beyond that “Toe” was able to help fill the void on two separate occasions last season when starting shortstop Didi Gregorius began the season hurt from the World Baseball Classic (WBC) and later in the season when Starlin Castro went down with an injury as well. Then there’s the Yankees top prospect Gleyber Torres. Torres was on the fast track in 2017 before being sidelined with Tommy John Surgery on his non-throwing arm.
This spring the battles are real and thus these players are the ones early this spring who are seeing the most at bats. Having these guys play a bigger bulk of the games early in spring allow the new Yankee manager Aaron Boone and his coaching staff the opportunity to truly evaluate the talent that’s going to be on the team on “Opening Day” and who can be trusted to produce if called upon throughout the season.
With only a few more weeks left in the spring training season look for some decisions to start being sured up probably over the next week or so by the Yankees. If I had to make an educated guess I think that Brandon Drury starts at third, Tyler Wade starts at second and Ronald Torreyes is the backup utility infielder and Tyler Austin is the backup first baseman. The Bronx Bombers will be opening up the season in Toronto against the Blue Jays on March 29th. And that will officially start the road to 28. The question remains until then “Who Makes the Cut?”