Yesterday, the New York Yankees announced 23 non-roster invitees that were going to join the 40-man roster in Spring Training.
Two of the names that are expected to have all eyes on them are Clint Frazier and Gleyber Torres. Frazier has quickly become a fan favorite, but don’t expect to see him on the Opening Day roster this year.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman said earlier in the offseason it’s a slim chance Frazier starts the season in the Bronx, but he could come up to the Major Leagues at some point during the season.
“I try to think more in a realistic term,” Frazier said. “I don’t think I’m going to start there Opening Day, but it could happen. There’s a reason that all the players are on that roster. They’ve earned that opportunity.”
Frazier only hit .228/.278/.396 in 25 games last season at the Triple-A level but Cashman said that Frazier ‘checks the boxes’ regarding power, bat speed and speed.
“I didn’t show the ability to play in the big leagues last year, or else I might have finished there,” Frazier said. “I’m just going in there trying to give myself the best opportunity to win a spot when the time comes.”
Cashman said while Torres will be in camp, it’s not likely he’ll help the Yankees at any capacity in 2017. But for anyone else starting the season in Triple-A, they all have a legitimate chance to make the roster at some point. It all depends on whether they can perform in Scranton.
“I would not expect anything from Gleyber Torres in New York in ’17, but anybody else playing at Triple-A, our team needs at the Major League level and their performance at the Minor League level will dictate whether they have an opportunity to put themselves into the mix,” Cashman said.
This Spring, the Yankees have a few battles in camp. Greg Bird and Tyler Austin are competing for a job at first base after Mark Teixeira retired last year. And in right field, Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks will compete for a chance to play every day alongside Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury.
“What we do find is people do come out of nowhere,” Cashman said. “You have your pecking order going into the process and the game separates the men from the boys on a yearly basis. It’ll be fun to see how these guys compete with each other and against each other as they vie for an opportunity here at the big league level.”