Projecting Triple-A Scranton’s roster

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Igawa in Spring TrainingWith a team like the Yankees, there really aren’t many questions that need answering in Spring Training each year. We know who’s going to play on the infield every day for the next two years, and 80% of the rotation is locked up for the foreseeable future as well. Sorting out the last bullpen spot and maybe center field just isn’t all that exciting.

Thankfully, there’s always Triple-A. The organization is blessed with Major League ready pitching depth at the minor’s uppermost level, and they sport position players cut from every kind of cloth imaginable. Very few of these players are guaranteed full time jobs with Scranton, and the rest of the bunch are is just doing their best to secure a job beyond the end of camp.

As Spring Training roars past it’s midpoint, we can start to get a sense of who fits where in the Triple-A picture. Some guys have been locked into jobs since November, others have taken advantage of their opportunity and are beginning to run away from the competition, while other players haven’t done much of anything to help their cause. There are still enough question marks that it’s worth breaking down the roster position by position, and try to figure out who fits where.

Much like everything else he does, I like the way Jason Churchill presented his Triple-A Tacoma projection over at his awesome site Prospect Insider, so excuse me while I bite his style. The good stuff is after the jump.

CATCHER
Candidates:
Kevin Cash, Frankie Cervelli, PJ Pilittere
Pilittere has spend the past two years at Double-Trenton (hitting .270-.317-.343 across 780 plate appearances) and Cash is a textbook example of an emergency third catcher brought in on a minor league deal. Cervelli has to spend more time in Trenton after missing all but 27 games of the minor league season last year due to wrist and knee injuries.
Projection: Cash & Pilittere

FIRST BASE
Candidates:
Eric Duncan, Juan Miranda
Eric Duncan is on his last prospect legs and will start his fourth consecutive season at the Triple-A level. He won’t hit enough to supplant Miranda, who is going to get every opportunity to play as the team hopes he boosts his trade value by learning how not to embarrass himself against southpaws.
Projection: Miranda

MIDDLE INFIELD
Candidates:
Doug Bernier, Angel Berroa, Ramiro Pena, Kevin Russo
Berroa will probably start the year with the big league club as the utility infielder thanks partly to his torrid spring (.429-.444-.743), but mostly because of A-Rod’s injury. Pena’s glove is Major League ready, and he’s accumulated 1,092 plate appearances at Double-A Trenton over the last four seasons, hitting a career high .266-.330-.357 last season. Russo broke out with a .307-.363-.416 line last year, but his brutal spring (.056-.150-.056) could land him back to Double-A Trenton. He does have the favorable asset of being the  organization’s best middle infield prospect above A-ball working for him. Bernier has been a Triple-A super utility man for Colorado the last two years, and there’s no reason to suspect he’ll fill a different role this year.
Projection: Pena & Russo

THIRD BASE
Candidates:
Justin Leone, Eric Duncan
Both players are locks to make Scranton’s roster, however the prospect halo still flickering above Duncan’s head probably gives him the edge. A straight platoon is possible, however Leone could serve as a super sub and fill-in at a different spot each day depending on who needs a day to deal with some aches and pains.
Projection: Duncan

OUTFIELD
Candidates:
Colin Curtis, Shelley Duncan, Edwar Gonzalez, Austin Jackson, Todd Linden, John Rodriguez
J-Rod is probably the best pure hitter on the team, putting up at least a .363 OBP and .500 SLG in four of the last five seasons, and has a chance to help the big league club if all hell breaks loose on the injury front. Jackson is the club’s best prospect and will have the spotlight on him all season after holding his own at Double-A last year. Curtis probably needs to repeat Double-A after a .255-.329-.368 showing there last year. Shelley has the benefit of being the incumbent, and Linden will likely be released at the end of camp because he’s been dreadful (.059-.158-.059) and has too many people ahead of him. Gonzalez will probably fall victim to the numbers and return to Trenton.
Projection: J-Rod, Jackson & Shelley

STARTING ROTATION
Candidates:
Al Aceves, Dan Giese, Phil Hughes, Kei Igawa, Jason Johnson, Ian Kennedy, George Kontos, Brett Tomko, Phil Coke
Hughes is the Yanks’ sixth starter and will bide his time at the front of the Scranton’s rotation working on that new split-change. Kennedy has already been optioned down to Scranton and Igawa is a shoo-in for the rotation despite his surprisingly good spring. Given their spring performances Tomko and Coke are near locks to make the big league club out of camp, while Aceves’ lack of performance means a Triple-A assignment is likely. After a strong performance at Trenton last year (3.62 FIP in 151.2 IP) Kontos is ready for a promotion and gets the nod over 35-year old Johnson, who is a candidate to be released before the season starts.
Projection: Hughes, Kennedy, Aceves, Igawa, Kontos

BULLPEN
Candidates:
Jon Albaladejo, Anthony Claggett, JB Cox, Mike Dunn, Steven Jackson, Zack Kroenke, Mark Melancon, David Robertson
Claggett and Jackson are locks for the Triple-A squad given their placement on the 40-man roster and impressive preseasons. Melancon is a shoo-in as well, and has already been assigned to minor league camp. Albaladejo and Robertson are going to be in competition for the final big league bullpen spot right down to the last game of spring, and the gut feel here is that Albie heads north. Dunn was optioned down over the weekend, and the fact that he only has about a half-dozen innings worth of experience above A-ball is enough for me to say Double-A is his likely destination. The Marlins returned Kroenke yesterday after Rule 5’ing him, and he’s ready for Triple-A after allowing just 28 hits in 43.2 IP at Trenton last year. Cox should be back for another go around this year, and Giese will likely beat out Jason Johnson for that last bullpen spot, presumably after he’s removed from the 40-man.
Projection: Claggett, Cox, Jackson, Kroenke, Melancon, Robertson, Giese

EVERYDAY LINEUP
1. Kevin Russo, 2B
2. Austin Jackson, CF
3. Juan Miranda, 1B
4. Shelley Duncan, RF
5. John Rodriguez, LF
6. Justin Leone, DH
7. Eric Duncan, 3B
8. PJ Pilittere, C
9. Ramiro Pena, 2B

That’s my guess at how manager Dave Miley will fill out his lineup card. The organization mandates where the top prospects hit, and Jackson has accumulated 49.5% of his career at-bats from the two-hole, by far the most of any batting order spot. Shelley bats cleanup because he’s the grizzled Triple-A vet with big league experience, and Miranda fills the always prestigious third spot like he did last year. Everyone else just kinda falls into place.

As far as the pitching staff goes, I think Steven Jackson has a leg up on the closer’s job after his shutdown work last year. Melancon and Cox might start the year on set pitching schedules while Claggett, Robertson and Kroenke fill situational duties. Giese is the designated long man/spot starter, a surprisingly important gig in the minors. Hughes fronts the rotation, and everyone else just settles in place behind him.

On paper it seems like a pretty solid squad, but who knows when it comes to Triple-A teams. They’re usually torn apart within the first month of the season.

Photo Credit: Kathy Willens, AP

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  • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    Wait a sec…

    STARTING ROTATION…
    Given their spring performances Tomko and Coke are near locks to make the big league club out of camp…
    Projection: Hughes, Kennedy, Aceves, Igawa, Kontos

    BULLPEN…
    Albaladejo and Robertson are going to be in competition for the final big league bullpen spot right down to the last game of spring, and the gut feel here is that Albie heads north…
    Projection: Claggett, Cox, Jackson, Kroenke, Melancon, Robertson, Giese

    If Tomko and Coke are both making the big league roster AND Albaladejo is also making the big league roster, that’s a 13-man pitching staff (5 starters + 8 men in the bullpen).

    Starters:
    1. CC
    2. Wang
    3. AJ
    4. Pettitte
    5. Joba

    Bullpen:
    1. Mo
    2. Marte
    3. Bruney
    4. Edwar
    5. Veras
    6. Coke
    7. Tomko
    8. Albaladejo

    One of Tomko, Coke, or Albie has to stay in Scranton. My guess is Albie.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Damn. You’re right, my bad for bad math. Albie would be the guy in Triple-A, and Kroenke or Cox would be the leading candidates to be dropped down to Double-A to make room.

    • Simon B.

      Mike is probably inferring that Edwar will not make the big league club because he hates Edwar and wants him to die.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

        Actually, I was guessing that one of Edwar or Marte would be on the DL to start the year.

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Good point. In that case, Albaladejo probably would make the Opening Day roster, but he’d be the first one sent down, I’d guess.

          • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

            Unless Albie has a straight up better ST than Edwar. I’m interested so see how Ramirez’s fastball is looking once he starts pitching again.

  • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    “As far as the pitching staff goes, I think Steven Jackson has a leg up on the closer’s job after his shutdown work last year. Melancon and Cox might start the year on set pitching schedules while Claggett, Robertson and Kroenke fill situational duties.”

    The “closers are overrated and you should use your best reliever wherever the game situation mandates it” in me likes the idea of not limiting Melancon to the 9th inning but instead giving him experience coming into the middle of an inning with baserunners on and having him put out the fire.

    (But the “I know closers are a baseball reality and that’s not likely to change” in me says put Melancon in the closer role so he gets experience being a mini-Mo and becomes familiar with the 9th inning emotional routine.)

    • whozat

      And the kid in me loves the frosted side!

    • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

      In terms of 2009, Muhlanson is better off getting experience as a fireman, as that is what he’d be ideally used for in the big leagues for at least this year and the next. Also, if you can make it as a fireman, you would in theory also be able to make it as a closer, since that high-leverage reliever role is even more important, and we already know Melancon has that bullshit made-up “closer mentality” thing down since he’s been a closer for most of his career.

      • http://statspeak.net dan

        You got the pronunciation right, but it’s spelled Melancon

        • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

          Sarcasm alert?

    • MattG

      What about Melancon throwing 95 innings in 44 games in ’08? I say it would be a shame to give him a designated inning. This is a guy that can close out a one run lead from the 7th.

      I know closers are a baseball reality and that’s not likely to change

      It will change (forever is a long time). The team that does it first is the only team that gets exclusive benefits. And the team that does it first is almost certainly going to have to do it in the minor leagues, and graduate their relievers in order for it to work.

      • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

        We need somebody to make up a stat for it. I remember reading on ESPN once the concept for quantifying it as a “Stop”, though I forgot the exact parameters of how to qualify for one. I wish I could find that article again because it made so much sense.

  • steve (different one)

    Duncan back to 3B? i thought that ship had sailed….

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Duncan played 64 games at 3B last year. Looks like the sailed ship actually came back to port this time.

      • steve (different one)

        well there you go.

  • A.D.

    No love for Chris Malec making the AAA team? I’d hope for Malec at 3B and Duncan DH-ing.

  • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    Anyone else besides Linden likely to be cut loose?

  • Zack

    It still annoys me that a guy like Tomko is taking up space that could be used for guys with either higher ceilings or better futures.

    Yes, he’s a had a great spring. Yes, he’s a vet. Yes he can be the “long man.” But yes, he will return to sucking relatively shortly and eventually should be cut, which will most likely happen far later than it should. The Yanks really have no need for guys like him, and I’d much rather see Albie or Robertson than him…

    • A.D.

      They may just look to keep him for the start of the season, when starters are on stricter pitch counts & thus the pen gets used more. They can always DFA him later in the year.

    • whozat

      Neither of them has the endurance to throw four innings. Joba WILL get knocked out early sometimes. There WILL be blowouts; its much better to burn ONE guy in the pen than run through four to eat up innings 6-9 when you’re up/down by five runs. That was how they wound up having to blow out marte last year…they’d had to eat up innings with the bullpen arms too much, so everyone was gassed…and then they needed to do it again. Having a guy that could have given EVERYONE a day off in the middle there, that’s valuable.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      … or, let’s say it’s early June, and Tomko is slightly above average and Albie and Robertson are lights-out in Scranton. We trade Tomko and Juan Miranda to the Rockies for a half decent middle infield prospect in AA ball and promote Albie.

      Now, adding Tomko makes more sense. You can never have too much pitching.

      • http://ranger2709.blogspot.com Old Ranger

        Very good thinking TJ!

    • TurnTwo

      you dont need high ceiling from a long man. you need an arm that can mop up on really good days, or really bad days.

      that kind of work is unpredictable, and not really suited for development.

    • steve (different one)

      It still annoys me that a guy like Tomko is taking up space that could be used for guys with either higher ceilings or better futures.

      or looking at it from another POV:

      Tomko could be the mop-up guy, taking up the space that shouldn’t be used for guys with either higher ceilings or better futures

    • Drew

      I don’t understand why so many people are against keeping a vet that is being successful. Having robertson or albie sit in the bullpen is pointless. Then who is the long man? As long as someone succeeds, and is recieving a minimum salary, what the hell is the big deal?

      • steve (different one)

        because we must have something to complain about at all times.

      • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

        I agree with everything you just said except that the part about Robertson or Albie sitting in the bullpen. Based on how well Girardi juggled the ‘pen last year, I’m sure they’d get plenty of work in if they’re on the 25-man roster. That said, at this point I’m definitely in favor of Tomko making the roster as a longman, for a variety of reasons.

    • MattG

      I am with Zack 100% on this one. On days where the starter is blown out, you can pitch Robertson and Albaladejo a pair of innings each, giving you what Tomko would give you. If it happens too often, you can give Albie or Robbie a 10 day vacation in AAA while going with another of the interchangeable horde of relievers.

      There is no reason why you need four relievers to pitch four innings, or why you should go with a journeyman because it so happens he can pitch 4 innings while trailing by 5 runs.

      • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

        So you’d rather use two roster spots up instead of one to perform the same responsibility?

        • MattG

          Absolutely. Tomko’s role is not one that helps win games. I would rather have two pitchers on the roster that can help win games than one who doesn’t.

          • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

            So you’re saying Tomko’s role (that of the long middle reliever) is useless in baseball? Every starter in baseball is going to get rocked every once in a while, and if you don’t want to waste your bullpen for the next week or so, you need a guy who is good for 4 or 5 innings. Going by the old adage that baseball is a marathon, not a sprint, sometimes you need to make moves that are more than just for that one game. And if you have that long man, you still have one extra roster spot than you wouldn’t have had before.

            • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              I think we’re mischaracterizing what Tomko’s role here on the team would be.

              He’s there to pitch. The advantage of him over Albie or Robertson is that he can go longer stretches if needed, like a disastrous outing by Pettitte or something. But he’s not going to be the 7th man in the pen if he’s a much worse pitcher than Albie or Robertson, he’s going to be there because he’s roughly as good as them, he just adds the value of having an arm that can pitch effective baseball for 4-5 innings at a time rather than just 1-2.

              It’s a valuable, useful pitcher to have, and I’d argue that we probably should always have a longman/sixth starter of the Tomko/Aceves/Geise variety as the 7th man in the bullpen for just such situations. Tomko can and will come in in normal, non-longman situations and pitch an inning or two, just like Albie or Robertson could, but he can also go longer without the long-term effects of an overtaxed reliever like DamasoGate from last year.

              It’s not like we’re picking between Sidney Ponson and Joakim Soria for the 7th spot in the bullpen here. We’ve got Mo for the 9th + Marte/Bruney/Edwar/Veras/Coke to mix and match before that + Tomko to take low-leverage innings and fill in for unpredictable long stretches if necessary. That’s a perfect arrangement.

              Adding a 6th power short reliever instead of a quality longman is reminiscent of the old “Bazooka to kill a dying man” argument of the B-Jobbers: it’s overkill and probably not the most optimal way to construct a team. Tomko (provided he has shown the ability to still get hitters out at a reasonable rate, which he has this spring) adds more value than Albie/Robertson. Less flash and excitement, maybe, but more value.

              (Also, in an interesting Torreolithic Era/4 Rings Club parallel – the title years teams always maintained and utilized Mendoza as the quality longman. If you can get a pitcher that doesn’t suck and can both start and relieve, it’s a useful piece to have.)

              • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

                Thank you for more accurately stating the importance of a guy like Tomko than the job I was doing.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  THAT IS HOW YOU DEBATE!!!!!!!!

              • MattG

                If Tomko can beat out Albie and Robbie on his pitching ability, there is no need for an argument. I don’t want a young guy, or a flashy guy–I want a guy that’ll put up zeros and give the offense a chance to come back.

                But I would not burn a roster spot so I can give up on a game every other week. Only the best pitchers make my bullpen. I’ll worry about getting them enough rest in other ways–like using them two innings every time I warm them up, or rotating them through AAA while they have options.

                The crappy long man isn’t the only way to keep a bullpen rested, nor is it the best way.

                And Tomko sucks. The Yankees would do very well to drop him at the first hint of failure. They are not lacking for replacements.

                • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

                  Hey, Tomko may be no Brad Penny (shot at Boston), but he could do a good enough job as a long man – something that both Robertson and Alie would be unable to do. Also keep in mind that a long reliever doesn’t necessarily have to put up 0s all the time, and a guy who goes anywhere from 1 to 5 innings at a time shouldn’t be expected to. With 6 other quality relievers who are better suited for shorter, but more high-leverage situations, Tomko (or Giese or Aceves) helps ensure that the rest of those bullpen guys stay healthy and able to pitch on any given day. A much better argument is whether Edwar Ramirez deserves a spot over Robertson or Albie.

                • MattG

                  He can have the spot as long as he pitches well. And that doesn’t mean zeros, but it means league average (4.30 ERA or so), and a chance to put up zeros on any given day.

                  If he doesn’t pitch well, I wouldn’t let a thing like length stop me from using a guy who gets outs instead.

                  There are ways to protect relievers without giving up on games. I guess more than anything, that is my point.

                • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  If Tomko does start sucking, we’ll DFA him, believe me.

        • MattG

          Wait, I don’t like my response–let me answer this differently:

          This ‘responsibility’ isn’t real. It exists because a manager would use 4 pitchers to pitch the final four innings, and burn out his bullpen.

          What’s more, Tomko isn’t likely to fill the invented responsibility given to him anyway. Let’s say Tomko is summoned in the 5th inning for a bombed starter. Realistically, he’ll be asked to finish the fifth, pitch the 6th and 7th, and start the 8th. If he pitches well, he may end up with 3.2 innings.

          But this argument is based on the fact that he will not pitch well (everything is different if he is a good pitcher, so let’s assume he sucks). Somewhere before the end of the 8th inning, he’s going to get bombed himself, and a new reliever will take his place. He may pitch 2 innings, 2.2, whatever–something Albie or Robbie can do, or close to it.

          Just keep Albaladejo and Robertson. They can give you 4 innings on this day, they might shut down the opponent, and your offense might come back. And if you end up doing that 3 times in 8 days, you can give one of them a breather in AAA, while bringing up Jackson or something.

          • steve (different one)

            and what happens if the bombing occurs in the 2nd inning??

            do you not remember what happened with Ohlendorf last year?

            • MattG

              I don’t know–what does? How far is Tomko going to pitch in that game? Seems to me, best case, he gets you to the sixth. Sounds like 3 relievers at a minimum.

              Without Tomko, you’d use four instead.

              It’s not really a big deal. The point is, just keep the best pitchers. There are fresh arms that are pretty good at AAA if you need them.

              • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

                Yeah, who gives a damn if you waste your bullpen arms? Just keep calling up the new guys! I really don’t think you’re putting enough value into a guy capable of pitching 4+ innings in a situation where the starter gets blasted. What happens if 2 starters in 3 games get knocked out by the 3rd inning? Every bullpen needs specialty guys – you need at least one guy who can get out lefties, a guy to get you a groundball out, and a guy who can eat up some innings in the bullpen. Bruney/Coke/Veras/Marte/Whoever have innings 6 through 8 handled quite adequately, we need a guy who can cover innings 2 through 5 when those situations call for it, and also handle mop up duty to keep the aforementioned guys fresh. I really disagree with your thoughts about how we can just burn out some of our arms and replace them with guys in AAA – that’s not how you’re supposed to manage a pen, and it has ramifications you’re not taking into account.

                • MattG

                  Why is Tomko able to go longer, anyway? Because he used to be a starter? Bah–its like the lousy hitting backup catcher must be a good defender. Because Tomko can’t get anybody out, but he’s hung around so long, he must give you something of value.

                  And why will pitching relievers two innings hurt them? Everybody immediately assumes this will burn out your relievers. Yet, here are some more minor league relief numbers:

                  Melancon, career: 50 games, 101 IP
                  Edwar, career: 155 games, 277 IP
                  Robertson, career: 74 games, 138 IP
                  Albie, (06/07): 99 games, 201 IP
                  Jackson, (07/08): 59 games, 100 IP

                  If it comes down to a crappy former starter that’ll pitch 4 innings, and a good reliever that’ll only go 2, I’ll take the good pitcher. I can always call up the crappy ex-starter if I had to dip into my bullpen too much lately anyway–but if you use them like they’ve been used in the minor leagues, that won’t be an issue.

  • A.D.

    If Tomko & Berroa make the team and assuming Giese is DFAed for Tomko, who goes for Berroa, or is Alex on the 60-day DL?

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      I’d still like to know the answer to that Alex on the DL retroactivity question. Can we wait until the day before Opening Day and then put Nails on the 60-day retroactive a full month?

      Because I’m assuming they’d like to not have to DFA anyone until the last minute possible, but also give Nails as much rehab time as necessary to determine how far along his recovery is/how much DL time he’ll need during the actual season.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      …assuming Giese is DFAed for Tomko, who goes for Berroa…?

      I’d say, irrespective of who’s being added to the 40-man, the master order of DFA candidates is, in order:

      1. Giese
      2. Ransom
      3. Hacker
      4. Melky
      5. Aceves OR Albaladejo

      The other arms you’d consider, like Dunn, WLDR, Garcia, SteJax, Claggett, or Hungry Hungry are still too young/prospecty/upsidey for the team to DFA them just to add on a longman or temporary Nails replacement, IMO.

      So, since we can’t really DFA Ransom in this case (since he’s our only UTI and the heart of our Nails Replacement Strategy), if we’re really putting Tomko and Berroa on the opening day roster without putting ARod on the 60-day DL, it’s probably DFA-town for Giese and Hacker.

      • A.D.

        That makes the most sense, I’m guessing from leaving Hacker out of this post, Mike is assuming he’s not starting the year in AAA.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

          Nope, just not enough room for Hacker.

          • http://evilempire20.com/ Ryan S.

            Mike, do you think Hacker is on the potential DFA list?

      • steve (different one)

        maybe they’ll make a trade to free up a spot.

      • http://ranger2709.blogspot.com Old Ranger

        I like tomko for long man but, not yet. Only if really needed two dfa’s is one to many. I like the idea of trading he and Miranda for a AA/AAA infielder.

      • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

        Miranda should be on this list, too. With Tex on board there is no reason to keep him.

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          I was only going 5 men deep.

          (That’s what SHE said!)

          • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

            Miranda would be up there with Giese on my list. Giese is Aaron Small: The Sequel and Miranda has no value for this team., If Tex really went down you play Swisher at first or call up Shelley Duncan. I can see no scenario where Miranda could help the Yankees on the field, which can not be said of the others on your list.

            • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              I personally put Ransom, Hacker, Melky, Aceves, and Albaladejo as more expendable than Miranda because, while Miranda may not have much value to THIS team, he has more value IMO to other teams. He’s a bigger trade chip than all the other guys (with the possible exception of Aceves); I’m loath to just give away something we can get some type of ROI for.

              • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

                I see your point, but I doubt they would get much for him anyway. It’s not like there aren’t enough players with his skills/age in the minors. Why would anybody give up anything for him? Or more than they would give up for Melky or Albaladejo?

                And there is no way we DFA Ransom. He is our starting 3rd baseman. Well, at least for a month or two. They need a roster spot for Berroa or another infielder anyway while Nails is on the DL.

        • steve (different one)

          they aren’t going to DFA Miranda.

          • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

            Why not? He has no value at all.

            • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              He has no value to US at all. That’s why.

              There’s more teams that would give a 25-man spot to Miranda than to Hacker.

  • http://statspeak.net dan

    Giese in the AAA bullpen? Where do you think he’ll go?

    • http://statspeak.net dan

      My bad, I didn’t read to the end before posting that.

  • Rich NYC

    I may have missed it, but who are the bench / reserve players.
    Also, are you going to do a Thunder roster?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      I’m not sure about the bench, I figured the starting lineup was more important. Plus the AAA bench is usually just a hodgepodge of guys going in an out.

      I wasn’t going to do a Double-A one, but I think I might now. I’ll try to have to done by the end of the week.

      • Rich NYC

        Thanks.

  • AJ

    As a Yankee fan, you have to be excited with what the AAA team will look like this year. When has anyone remembered the Yankees being this deep with pitching? Guys like Edwar are having a great spring but will probably end up in AAA. As a college student near the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, I’m excited to get out and see the young guys.

  • Rich

    I hope that within two years the SWB roster is loaded with bona fide position prospects.