Yankees finalize Opening Day rosterBy
Ladies and gentlemen, after weeks of position battles and scrap heap pickups, here are your 2013 New York Yankees…
|Frankie Cervelli||Robinson Cano||Brennan Boesch||CC Sabathia||Mariano Rivera|
|Chris Stewart||Lyle Overbay||Ben Francisco||Hiroki Kuroda||David Robertson|
|Jayson Nix||Brett Gardner||Andy Pettitte||Boone Logan|
|Designated Hitter||Eduardo Nunez||Ichiro Suzuki||Ivan Nova||Joba Chamberlain|
|Travis Hafner||Kevin Youkilis||Vernon Wells||David Phelps||Shawn Kelley|
|Disabled List (* denotes 60-day DL)
|Cesar Cabral*||Phil Hughes||Alex Rodriguez*|
|Curtis Granderson||Derek Jeter||Mark Teixeira|
The pitching staff, specifically the front of the rotation and the back of the bullpen, is the clear strength of the club right now. Cano is the focal point of the offense and he won’t get a damn thing to hit with men on-base or the late innings of close games. It will be up to Youkilis, Hafner, and Wells to make the other club pay in those spots, and it’ll also be up to Robbie to not get himself out by chasing pitcher’s pitches off the plate. He did that quite a bit in the postseason last year.
Wells takes over as the everyday left fielder while Overbay will start at first base against righties — Youkilis will slide over to first with Nix playing third against southpaws. Francisco could replace Hafner, Ichiro, or Gardner against lefties. Boesch … I’m not quite sure what the plan is there, but he figures to get some work as a left-handed bat off the bench, particularly as a pinch-hitter for the Stewvelli catching tandem against tough righties late in close games. Eppley and Warren are just keeping the bullpen seats warm until Hughes (mid-April?) returns.
Thankfully, the Yankees are not married to this roster all season. It’s just the Opening Day roster. Jeter, Granderson, and Teixeira are all expected back at some point in the first half and are better than their replacements, even if their performances suffer a bit as the result of the injuries. Pineda, Cabral, and A-Rod are all second half players, if anything. I think it’s very safe to call this a patchwork roster in need of major in-season reinforcements, either by players returning from injury or through trades.