Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Yankees announced yesterday that they have invited 26 players not on the 40-man roster to spring training this year, bringing the total number of players that will be in camp up to 66.

While 66 may sound like a lot of players, it comes far short of the 84 players that the Yankees brought to Tampa last year.

Starting when pitchers and catchers report to camp on February 14th, the Yankees will begin evaluating these players in an attempt to figure out who most deserves a spot on the 25-man roster for when the team breaks camp and heads to Houston to open the season.

Heading into the spring, the Yankees are pretty much set in the outfield and the rotation, for the most part, but still have some holes to fill in the bullpen and the infield. Here is the list of non-roster invitees:


Francisco Arcia
Jose Gil
Peter O'Brien


Russ Canzler
Corbin Joseph
Jose Pirela
Scott Sizemore
Yangervis Solarte
Zelous Wheeler


Tyler Austin
Adonis Garcia
Antoan Richardson
Mason Williams

Right-handed pitchers:

Bruce Billings
Danny Burawa
Robert Coello
Matt Daley
Brian Gordon
Chris Leroux
David Henderson
Jim Miller
Mark Montgomery
Yoshinori Tateyama
Chase Whitley

Left-handed pitchers:

Fred Lewis
Francisco Rondon

First and foremost, it should be noted that Ronnie Mustelier was left off the invite list after nearly making the club last spring. He was putting a together a good run, but suffered an injury -- what else would happen to a Yankee in 2013? -- that kept him from getting a roster spot. He was never able to carry the spring success into the regular season, struggling in the minors last year. leading to him missing the cut in 2014.

There is no solid third base candidate for the Yankees in the foreseeable future, and it looks like Mustier won't be one of the options very time soon, as the Yanks won't even be bringing him to camp.

Of the group listed above, I would say that only the pitchers and infielders have an actual of making the team. Like I mentioned before, the Yankees' bullpen right now is pretty much just David Robertson and Shawn Kelley.

Leroux was just recently signed, and could compete for a bullpen spot. He pitcher for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic last March, and most recently appeared in a couple games for the Pittsburgh Pirates last season. We saw Daley briefly in the Bronx in 2013, and could see him in pinstripes again in 2014. you could also look at Montgomery, who had a fairly decent year in Triple-A last season.

The signing of Brian McCann kind of created a backload of catchers, with Austin Romine and Francisco Cervelli competing for the backup job. J.R. Murphy and Garzy Sanchez will also be in camp because they are on the 40-man roster, but won't be competing for a big league job. Actually, Murphy could compete if he has a good spring.

Like I said before, the outfield is already full, but the infield has a lot of question marks. Of the invited players, Canzler, Sizemore and Joseph have good chances of making the club.

A recent article in the New York Time's suggests that Mark Teixeira might not be completely healthy entering the season, and while the Yankees could use Kelly Johnson to play base, first is Canzler's main position, and could be the backup there.

Sizemore can play third base -- the position with the biggest concern -- and might see most of his spring time there. And Joseph debuted with the Yankees last season and might get another chance to play in the Bronx to start the year.


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