Clay Rapada will not be joining them as he was designated for assignment over the weekend to make room on the 40-man roster for Lyle Overbay. The Yankees now have 10 days to trade, release, or assign Rapada to the minors. Given that he’s been dealing with a shoulder injury it wouldn’t be shocking if he went unclaimed and the Yankees got to keep him.
Joe Girardi also confirmed over the weekend that Cody Eppley, Adam Warren, and Brennan Boesch have made the team. Eppley had a terrible spring, though spring stats are largely meaningless, but because of the 40-man roster crunch it didn’t leave the Yankees a ton of other options if they choose not to go with him. Warren is likely only with the team until Phil Hughes is activated from the DL.
This is certainly going to be an interesting season. There are only two players in last year’s Opening Day lineup that will play today — Robinson Cano and Brett Gardner. Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira are on the DL while Nick Swisher and Russell Martin left via free agency to save some money.
Jeter should be back soon, probably about two weeks, and Granderson and Teixeira could be back by mid-May. If the pitching staff can keep the Yankees competitive until then and there are no other major injuries this team could still compete. They won’t be a 95 win team, but 87-88 wins might be enough to sneak into the playoffs with.
Pitching will be the key though. CC Sabathia is coming off minor elbow surgery and so far looks fine. That will have to hold up though. The team will also be looking to get 400 innings out of Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte. If they can get that and Hughes and Ivan Nova play up to their potential the playoffs are still possible despite all the negativity during the offseason.
• Alex Rodriguez will be on hand for Opening Day today.
• Baseball Prospectus ranked the Yankees farm system 14th in MLB which is right in line with how the other major organizations have ranked them. BP lists Gary Sanchez as the best prospect with Rafael DePaula and Ty Hensley as breakout candidates.