Yankees Bench Seems Set with 5 More Cuts

The Yankees cut five more players from the big league camp yesterday, outfielder Greg Golson, righties Mark Melancon and Jonathan Albaladejo, and infielders Juan Miranda and Kevin Russo, according to Marc Carig of The Star-Ledger.

The cuts of Miranda and Russo have pretty much cemented the opening day bench ensuring a spot for Ramiro Pena. Backup catcher possibility Mike Rivera is still in camp, but the consensus has always been that Francisco Cervelli will be the opening day backup backstop. Rivera is probably only in camp as the Yankees need the extra catcher for the extra pitchers still in camp.

With the latest cuts here is what the bench is projected to be:

Backup catcher: Francisco Cervelli
Utility infielder: Ramiro Pena
Reserve outfielder 1: Randy Winn
Reserve outfielder 2: Marcus Thames

The cuts of Albaladejo and Melancon do make the bullpen picture a little clearer with only the final spot up for grabs. That spot is likely going to come down to right hander Sergio Mitre and lefty Boone Logan. Another lefty who has had a good spring, Royce Ring, is still in camp, but does not have a spot on the 40-man roster making it unlikely he will make the team out of spring.

It appears that Mitre is the most likely of the three pitchers to make the team. One reason is because if he does not make the team out of spring the Yankees risk losing him and another is this quote from Brian Cashman, “I would say, from my personal perspective, that you’d prefer to do two lefties, but you don’t want those two lefties in theory to be situational lefties, especially in the American League. It’s hard to carry that.”

Here is how the bullpen looks to shake out:

Long-man 1: Alfredo Aceves
Long-man 2: Sergio Mitre
Middle relief 1: Chan Ho Park
Middle relief 2: David Robertson
Lefty relief: Damaso Marte
Setup-man: Joba Chamberlain/Phil Hughes
Closer: Mariano Rivera

I like the 2009 bench better with Eric Hinske, Jerry Hairston Jr, and Jose Molina, but that is a pretty good one. That bullpen though, looks great. If someone gets hurt or doesn’t perform than Melancon should be ready to fill in or they could add another lefty like Logan or Ring.

This is probably the best bullpen/bench combo the Yankees have had going into the season in years.

What are your thoughts?

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10 Responses to Yankees Bench Seems Set with 5 More Cuts

  1. stevefromct says:

    I agree that this bullpen and bench look VERY strong indeed….and if Thames doesn't work out, is Jermaine Dye still available ??..he would be a great addition as a RH power bat off the bench, and as DH if Nick Johnson gets hurt (which he will).

  2. Dye is still available. I think Johnson would have to land on the DL for an extended time though for them to even consider him. I'd guess anything under a month on the DL and they'll just use Juan Miranda.

  3. Brandon says:

    I don't agree that it is a given that Mitre will make it over either Logan or Ring. I think it will happen, but the much safer thing is that it will be Mitre/Logan/Ring considering Girardi's past decisions

  4. Brandon says:

    Ohp my bad, reread the article i didn't catch the last part. Cashman and Girardi seem to disagree on this one. Should be interesting

  5. smurfy says:

    On your bullpen listing, they could flip Robertson or Chan Ho into the setup role, to let Joba have longer stints.

  6. Yeah, I was just giving a rough estimate. It could be any combination with those guys. It's also possible Joba or Mitre comes out of that list in place of Logan.

  7. Lefty says:

    Due to Rivera's age, it's likely being considered that now is the time to get Joba primed to perform the closer role. Mo hopefully will have a another great season, but he may be close to dealing with the closer who never loses, Father Time. It remains to be seen how much longer Rivera will be so effective. There's only one smoke blowing Joba, and Cashman wants to be prepared for the inevitable.

  8. WyomingGrizFan says:

    I still regret the Yankees decision to let Gaudin go. The Yankees aren't the greatest pitching staff in MLB, regrettably, and able pitchers are always in demand, regardless of the won-loss records of the team. One can never have too much pitching, too much can go wrong over the course of a season, like what happened to the Mets and A's last year.

    This is a strange year for the Yankees; first time I've every heard about the organization worrying about their salary costs contra revenue, a sad day indeed!!!