Friday, March 24, 2017

The 2017 Ex-New York Yankees Opening Day Roster…

Credit:  Jason Miller, Getty Images

As training camp nears its final days, I was thinking about former Yankees (or players that spent time in the Yankees organization) and thought that I’d try to take a crack at an All Ex-Yankees Team using players that are currently on other teams’ 40-man rosters.  So, for my pool, I did not include any non-roster invitees.  For manager, the pool was only open to current MLB managers so Joe Torre was out of the mix.

Admittedly, this is a very subjective roster and I had to tweak some positions due to a limited pool of players.  I am sure that I left off some good ex-Yankees and you might not agree with this starting lineup but it was my thoughts based on the available player pool.

STARTING LINEUP
C- Russell Martin
1B- Steve Pearce
2B- Robinson Cano
SS- Eduardo Nunez
3B- Yangervis Solarte
RF- Carlos Beltran
CF- Curtis Granderson
LF- Melky Cabrera
DH- Brian McCann

BENCH
OF: Chris Young
INF: Martin Prado
INF: Stephen Drew
OF: Ichiro Suzuki

STARTING ROTATION
SP: Jose Quintana
SP: Rich Hill
SP: Ian Kennedy
SP: Ivan Nova
SP: Bartolo Colon

BULLPEN
RP: Shawn Kelley
RP: Boone Logan
RP: Justin Wilson
RP: Arodys Vizcaino
RP: David Robertson
SU: Andrew Miller
CL:  Mark Melancon

MANAGER  
Don Mattingly

Mattingly never managed the Yankees but he’s a Yankee by birthright.  There was no way that I was going to hire Buck Showalter to manage my team.  

I wasn’t crazy about putting Granderson in center but I needed to get Melky Cabrera into the lineup.  Outside of Martin Prado, I am not thrilled about the bench at all.  Brian McCann at DH is my backup catcher so that’s the only reason that I did not add Francisco Cervelli.  I suppose that if I made McCann a DH only, I’d drop Suzuki to add Cervelli. 

If I had to pick a closer between Andrew Miller and Mark Melancon, I’d easily take Miller.  But for the purposes of my roster, Miller has the most flexibility so he was the best fit in the setup role.  I like David Robertson but at this point in his career, he is behind both Miller and Melancon. 

This exercise does tend to show you that the Yankees have done a very good job evaluating talent.  Very few superstars have gotten away.  Robinson Cano and Jose Quintana are probably at the head of the class with no return for the Yankees, but at least Andrew Miller brought in top prospects Clint Frazier and Justus Sheffield. 

Yangervis Solarte and Eduardo Nunez stand out as two players that have performed better than I expected they would when they left New York.  Man, I how I would love to have Martin Prado back.

It was tough to leave Mike Dunn off the bullpen list.  I also wanted to put Phil Hughes in the starting rotation but his health has been too unreliable for me.  David Phelps was another strong candidate for the #5 spot in the rotation.

I doubt this team would win the World Series but it would certainly win a few games.

I know it's just spring training and we shouldn't read too much into stats, but I thought Jordan Montgomery did an excellent job on Thursday against the Tampa Bay Rays.  He pitched 4 1/3 innings, giving up three hits and two runs.  He struck out eight.  When he departed, he had only given up one run, but he left a runner who subsequently scored against an ineffective JR Graham.  Thanks to heads up base-running by Tyler Wade (he stole third and scored on a throwing error by Rays catcher Michael McKenry) in the top of the 9th, the Yankees came away with a 5-5 tie after trailing most of the game.  Mighty Mouse (Ronald Torreyes) also homered in the game.  

Montgomery has firmly inserted himself as a finalist for a spot in the rotation.  I would not be disappointed to see Bryan Mitchell and Montgomery take the final spots, with Luis Severino on an outbound bus for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.  

With the tie, the Yankees' spring record is 19-7-1 although no one seems to be reporting the tie in Grapefruit League standings.  I know it's not a real game but it did happen!  Didn't it?...

Have a great Friday!

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