Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Predicting the Opening Day Roster...

Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Next Stop, Toronto Pearson International Airport…

We should begin seeing some whittling down of bodies at Steinbrenner Field soon so it got me thinking about the Yankees’ Opening Day roster. March 29th, and a date with the Toronto Blue Jays, is only three weeks away so the regular season will be upon us before we know it. 

Count me among those who do not place much stock in Miguel Andujar’s slew of home runs against mostly Double-A pitching. I think Andujar will make a contribution this year, perhaps a significant one, but I do not feel that he’ll head to Toronto with the team after they play their final Spring game in Atlanta against the Braves.  My guess is that he spends more time with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to work on his defensive game.  

Here is my projection for the Opening Day Roster (with starting position players in italics). 

Starting Pitchers
Luis Severino
Masahiro Tanaka
Sonny Gray
CC Sabathia
Jordan Montgomery

Aroldis Chapman

Dellin Betances
David Robertson

Bullpen Studs
Tommy Kahnle
Chad Green

Rest of the Pen
Adam Warren
Chasen Shreve

Gary Sanchez
Austin Romine

First Base
Greg Bird
Adam Lind

Second Base
Tyler Wade
Ronald Torreyes

Didi Gregorius

Third Base
Brandon Drury

Aaron Judge, RF
Brett Gardner, LF
Aaron Hicks, CF
Giancarlo Stanton, DH
Jacoby Ellsbury

The guess is Judge will be exclusively a right-fielder and DH, with Stanton primarily filling the DH role but covering both outfield corner positions dependent upon the ballpark. When (not if) Ellsbury gets hurt (assuming that he recovers from the right oblique strain in time for Opening Day), Clint Frazier gets the first look as his replacement with Billy McKinney next in line.

I don’t know what happens with Tyler Austin. The way the Yankees keep trying to replace him leads me to believe that he is not in the long-term vision. I could very well be wrong about the backup first base job. Perhaps Austin does win it and Lind opts out of his minor league contract in a couple of weeks. But it’s hard to overlook Lind’s history of success at the Major League level so I won’t. 

It remains my belief we’ll see Gleyber Torres as the starting second baseman during the season, maybe as early as the first of May. Assuming he doesn’t go to Baltimore in a mammoth mid-season trade for Manny Machado, I think Andujar will see extended time in the Majors for the Pinstripers too. Admittedly, if he keeps up his torrid hitting over the next couple of weeks as MLB starters are stretched out in preparation for the season, he could force his way onto the Opening Day Roster. If that happens, Lind (or Austin) could be the odd man out, with Drury and Romine serving as the less-than-desirable first base backups in addition to their other duties.   

The first reliever on the Scranton Shuttle will be right-hander Ben Heller, followed closely by fellow righty Giovanny Gallegos. For emergency starter, I’d prefer to go with Domingo German over Luis Cessa but the team seems to love Cessa in spot starts despite the lackluster results.

The toughest call is the batting order but my choices from second to fifth would be Judge, Bird, Stanton, and Sanchez, respectively. Regardless of how this shakes out under Aaron Boone, I feel sorry for American League pitchers.

There’s still plenty of time for roster surprises but I think injuries would play the primary role in any deviations, in my humble opinion (which of course could be seriously flawed). 

As the saying goes, time will tell as it often does…

If you haven’t already done so, you should check out Bryan Hoch’s new book, The Baby Bombers: The Inside Story of the Next Yankees Dynasty. The book is available through multiple outlets including (where I bought my copy).

Go Yankees!


  1. I think Austin would be a better choice than Lind. He's a right handed bat, and already has a roster spot.

  2. Replies
    1. Was that directed at me, or Scott?

    2. Rule number one of the site. Don't be a douche bag. Actually, that's the only rule. Should cover everything. If you want to debate, that's one thing. Being a prick is another.

    3. I agree. Whether it was directed at me or Scott, it was unwarranted. If you're going to post a comment like that, at least have the stones to provide an explanation.

    4. Daniel Burch...Site manager / Coordinator:
      " Rule number one of the site...don't be a douche bag."
      " If you want a debate...etc. Being a prick is another."

      For one in the leadership role here, to put up a post like that,
      is so very extremely juvenile, and dumb.

      Almost like one was drinking.

      Your Praetorian Guard will not comment at all. Which is sad.

    5. Come on patrick, you know that a post like that is well within reason! I have read some of your timeless posts on another site, remember when it was a war every day?

      The only thing I wonder about is, can he say that to a women? Nope, never happen, not with them wanting to run the world...hell, they already do!

      Have fun this year patrick, and comment as much as you can...I sort a miss you being around and shaking up the place once in a wile.

    6. Your opinion is your opinion. You call it juvenile, while changing someone's last name to ridicule them and their avatar, and I call it sticking up for the people that put their blood, sweat and tears into this site for us. Juvenile and dumb, sure. I'll own that. Just don't throw stones when you live in a glass house.

    7. Alright..."douche bag & prick"...are now the new norm ?
      I missed that update.

      'Throwing stones, and living in a glass house, regarding me, is you not knowing anything about how I go about my life.

      As for the unnamed, Van Dusen,.....he should grow up.
      Maybe I should have called him a douche bag.

      Van Dusen's avatar was child like, and I did comment on it.
      But the guy changed it himself. Go talk to him. Maybe by you calling him a prick, it will toughen him up.

      Glass house? You have no idea. Still laughing.

    8. Whoa... whoa... whoa

      I should go grow up? Me? LOL... now that's rich. Patrick, I haven't spoken in your direction in a long time, but you feel the need to say I have to grow up. That's hilarious. I seriously laughed when I read that, and continue to smile while shaking my head as I type this.

      And my avatar was child like? Should I apologize for having watched South Park and liking it, and therefore creating an avatar based on that? Should I also apologize for playing softball, thus the avatar wearing a softball jersey?

    9. I have no idea, yet you were the one calling him Van Dozen among other names, like a child would on the playground. But yeah, okay. Carrying on now.

    10. My path into idiocy, simply stated.

      After not posting for a few weeks, I came back to comment on
      the language that was used by the site manager. I thought it
      way out of line. So ?

      The site manager rambles back that I should not pick on
      his pal, you. And that I live in that old cleshayed term
      of being from a 'glass house'. None of his business.

      Now you appear tonight...Van Dozen. Do site pals now interact
      on my posts now ? Seems like it.
      As for your avatar ? For now I can say as I was
      dumb, and idiotic. Also you changed it, not me.

      So keep laughing out loud, and shaking your head, if that
      is what you need to do.
      "Whoa..Whoa..Whoa"...Whats that ? Are you now surrounded
      by jackasses ?

    11. Ken Reed, my dear friend. Please do not have a stroke.
      After three weeks away, this is what I walked into.
      Don't go nuts over this.
      Not the end of the world.

    12. Damn I hope it isn't, I got another 80 years to go!
      Hell, I don't worry about you patrick, you could out last all of them but, they don't know it yet.
      Don't spit into the wind!