Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Yankees brought 66 players to camp with them this season -- far less than the near 90 that had last spring -- but can only take 25 to Houston when they play the Astros on Opening Day. Luckily they'll more than a month to figure out who those 25 might be.

A typical club carries 12 pitchers and 13 position players, so we'll pick the team based off of those numbers.

So that puts us at 18 roster spots -- 11 position players, with 6 pitchers -- leaving seven up for grabs.

We know that one will be filled by the winner of the fifth starter competition. That one will come down to either Michael Pineda, David Phelps, Adam Warren or Vidal Nuno. I now count seven pitchers, six spots left.

You gotta have a backup catcher, right? I think that Cervelli will win the job, with Austin Romine and John Ryan Murphy tying for a close second. 12 positions players, five spots left.

The left position player spot has to be used for the infield, without question. This is going to be a tough decision, unless one player stands out from the rest during the spring. Dean Anna, Eduardo Nunez and Scott Sizemore are the three players that will fight for the one job. My bet is that Nunez wins the spot, somehow. That's all of the position players, with four spots left.

Those four jobs will go to the bullpen. You would have to think that whoever finishes second in the fifth starter race will go into the bullpen as the long reliever.

I think that right now, Pineda is going to win the starting job, and Phelps will be moved into the bullpen. The Yankees could also decide to put Warren in the pen, where he had some good success last season.

Three spots left.

Joe Girardi said during the offseason that Preston Claiborne would have a spot in the bullpen, and though I didn't really believe it, I'll give him one of the three remaining spots. Now down to two.

Dellin Betances was one of the "Killer Bs" that the Yankees had been raving about. His control is what moved him to the bullpen, where he has been much more successful. I think that a good spring will easily put him in the bullpen on Opening Day.

The last spot in the bullpen and on the roster is going to be awarded to either Cesar Cabral or Jose Ramirez. Both are young pitchers that have high potential, and the Yankees like both of them. Again, a good spring from one of these guys will punch them a ticket to Houston.

Yankees links worth sharing:

* The Yankees made an offer to Stephen Drew earlier in the offseason, believed to be for two or three years, but he declined it, looking for someone with a few more years added on. On top of that, he rejected an offer from the Yankees after the 2012 season, leading the Yankees to sign Kevin Youkilis.

* Alex Rodriguez is suspended for the entire 2014 season, and won't be seen hanging out around the Yankees anytime soon, and apparently his jersey isn't being sold in the team store either.

* Jeter will hold his retirement press conference in Tampa today at 11:30am EST, and Wallace Matthews has one burning question that he wants to ask The Captain -- why now?

* Jeter's retirement press conference will be a lot like Mariano Rivera's last spring, with all of the Yankees' players and coaches in the room, supporting Jeter throughout the presser.

Warm-up song: "Amber" by 311. I turned on the radio, and picked the song that was playing. This was that song. So this is today's warm-up song. Enjoy!


Gavin Ewbank is the Lead Writer for Yanks Beat Blog, and you can follow him on Twitter (below).


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