Exactly one week from today the Yankees will be in Houston for Opening Day as they square off against the Houston Astros to begin their 2014 season. The Yankees seemed to have found their fifth starter (it will be announced later today), and the questions going into Spring Training have been answered for the most part. Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeria’s injuries are a thing of the past, Masahiro Tanaka has proven he can adjust to the Major Leagues and Ivan Nova appears confident in his abilities. However, the Yankees need to answer some last minute questions before they can break camp.
For one thing, the Yankees have to work on filling the spots in their bullpen. The competition for the pen has been spectacular and the Yankees are fortunate to have many options to choose from. The reality is, most, if none, will make the Opening Day roster. You can make a case for Matt Daley, Jim Miller, Chris Leroux and David Herndon as all four of them have pitched brilliantly this Spring, but with only two spots in the pen open, there might not be room for some of them. Players such as Miller aren’t even on the 40-man roster, which could ultimately work against him.
In addition, the Yankees have to address the backup shortstop situation. Brendan Ryan was slated to be the Opening Day backup shortstop to Derek Jeter but back injuries have sidelined him to start the season. Yangervis Solarte, Dean Anna and Eduardo Nunez are all competitors for the backup role and the Yankees have announced they’ll bring two of the three of them up north. Although Solarte had the best Spring of the three, Nunez and Anna are on the 40-man roster.
With this week being the week for final tune-ups, it’s also a time for the Yankees to plug in holes and bring the best talent to help them compete. One thing is certain; the answers to the remaining questions are definitely in Yankees camp.