Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Last Yankees Bench Spot Battle Royal

The New York Yankees have added a ton of depth to the team and the infield in recent weeks after a few early offseason trades left the team a little thin at certain positions. After the trades of Jose Pirela to the San Diego Padres and Brendan Ryan to the Chicago Cubs the Yankees middle infield was especially a concern but Brian Cashman and company has added a slew of players on minor league deals and such that are now fighting to make a difference and win the last spot on the Yankees bench in a free-for-all battle royal this spring.

Pete Kozma was the first name to be added to the list of participants in the battle royal and has since been joined by the likes of Donovan Solano, Lane Adams, Robert Refsnyder and Ronald Torreyes before he was designated for assignment. So who wins the spot? Before you can answer that you have to address the Yankees current situation and their needs.

The outfield is completely stacked with Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, Aaron Hicks and Dustin Ackley on the roster and Mason Williams, Slade Heathcott, Ben Gamel and Aaron Judge waiting in the wings while the catcher position seems solidified as well with some combination of Austin Romine, Gary Sanchez and Brian McCann. The infield is where the team may need some help though with obvious backup holes at third base and the shortstop position. As it stands right now Starlin Castro is the starting second baseman as well as the team’s backup at both positions leaving the options limited for Joe Girardi at this point.

Adams is a DH and outfielder so he seems unlikely, although his bat would look good in the Yankees lineup, while Refsnyder’s inability to play anywhere but second base may hurt his stock. You’re left essentially with Solano and Kozma who are defense first type players who carry little weight in the terms of offense. The one area that sets these two apart is the fact that Solano can play third base and the shortstop position as well as the outfield, all needs for the Yankees.

Solano has the win the job this spring, don’t get me wrong, but right now you would have to think that his name is at least written in pencil on Joe Girardi’s lineup card heading into spring training camp here in just about a month’s time. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)