Yankees Opening Day Roster Prediction 2.0: What Changes After …

It’s been a busy offseason for the New York Yankees. They’ve made some big moves in free agency and via trade, and those have set the stage for what should be an interesting spring training. As we wait for the games to begin, let’s take another stab at predicting the Yankees’ opening day roster.

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Introduction

As the Yankees head into spring training 2.0, they will have some decisions to make regarding their roster.

With that in mind, here is my updated roster prediction for the Yankees opening day roster.

Pitching Rotation

After an eventful spring training, the Yankees have finally announced their pitching rotation for the start of the regular season.

There are a few surprises in the rotation, as manager Aaron Boone has chosen to go with a youth-heavy group of pitchers.

CC Sabathia will get the ball on Opening Day against the Baltimore Orioles, followed by Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino, and James Paxton.

The Yankees will also have J.A. Happ and Domingo Germán available out of the bullpen.

Here is a more detailed look at each pitcher in the rotation:

CC Sabathia: The veteran left-hander will make his 16th Opening Day start, which is tied for MLB history with Roger Clemens. At 37 years old, Sabathia is no longer the ace he once was, but he should still be a solid member of the Yankees’ staff.

Masahiro Tanaka: The Japanese right-hander will be making his sixth straight Opening Day start for the Yankees. Tanaka had a down year in 2018, but he bounced back with a strong spring training performance. He will be looking to prove that he is still one of the best pitchers in baseball this season.

Luis Severino: The young right-hander established himself as an ace last season, finishing third in AL Cy Young voting. Severino had some trouble with injury this spring training, but he is now healthy and ready to anchor the Yankees’ pitching staff once again.

James Paxton: The newest member of the Yankees’ rotation will be making his first ever Opening Day start. Paxton was acquired from the Seattle Mariners this offseason and is expected to be a key piece in the Yankees’ World Series run.

Catchers

The New York Yankees currently have four catchers on their 40-man roster: Gary Sánchez, Austin Romine, Kyle Higashioka, and Chris Iannetta. Of these four, only Sánchez is guaranteed a spot on the Opening Day roster. Romine is the most likely candidate to be the backup catcher, as he has experience both catching and playing other positions around the diamond. Higashioka is likely to start the season in Triple-A, but could be called up at some point during the season if there are injuries or if Romine struggles. Iannetta is a non-roster invitee to spring training and is unlikely to make the team.

Infielders

The Yankees have a few decisions to make regarding their infielders. They have to decide who will be their starting first baseman, second baseman, and third baseman. They also have to decide who will be their backup infielders.

The Yankees have several options for their starting first baseman. They could go with Luke Voit, who was their starter last year. They could also go with Mike Ford, who is a left-handed hitter and can also play DH. Another option is Jared Hughes, who is a right-handed hitter and can play first base and third base. The final option is Miguel Andujar, who is a left-handed hitter and can play first base and designated hitter.

The Yankees’ starting second baseman will most likely be Gleyber Torres. The Yankees could also use DJ LeMahieu at second base, but he is better suited for third base. If the Yankees do not feel comfortable with either LeMahieu or Torres at second base, then they could move Andujar to second base and use Hughes or Ford at third base.

The Yankees’ starting third baseman will most likely be LeMahieu. However, the Yankees could opt to use Torres at third base and move Andujar to first base. If the Yankees do not feel comfortable with either LeMahieu or Torres at third base, then they could move Andujar to third base and use Hughes or Ford at first base.

The backup infielders for the Yankees will most likely be Walker Lockett, who can play all three infield positions, first baseman Mike Ford, and shortstop Didi Gregorius.

Outfielders

TheNew York Yankees have a loaded outfield heading into the 2021 season.

Brett Gardner will return as the starting left fielder, with Clint Frazier and Aaron Hicks splitting time in center field.

In right field, the Yankees will have a bit of a conundrum on their hands. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton will be returning from injury, and both are expected to see significant time in right field. The Yankees also have Aaron Hicks, who can play all three outfield positions, and they brought in Jay Bruce to add some depth.

The Yankees will have to make a decision on who their fourth outfielder will be. Jay Bruce is experienced and has been productive in his career, but he is coming off of a down year. The Yankees also have Mike Tauchman and Estevan Florial, who are both younger and more athletic. Ultimately, the Yankees will likely go with Bruce as their fourth outfielder because of his experience and his ability to play all three outfield positions.

Designated Hitter

The Yankees currently have a very deep and talented roster, but there is always room for improvement. After a busy offseason, the Yankees have made some upgrades to their team. Here is my latest prediction for the Yankees opening day roster:

Pitchers:
CC Sabathia
Luis Severino
Masahiro Tanaka
Sonny Gray
Jordan Montgomery
Chad Green
David Robertson
Dellin Betances
Aroldis Chapman
Tyler Clippard
Adam Warren

Catchers:
Gary Sanchez
Austin Romine
Comment: The Yankees currently have one of the best young catching duos in Major League Baseball. Sanchez is a tremendous athlete with a rocket for an arm and Romine is a great defensive backstop. I expect both of them to see significant playing time this season.
Infielders:
Didi Gregorius
Starlin Castro
Greg Bird
Chase Headley
Ronald Torreyes

outfielders: Brett Gardner, Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Clint Frazier, Jacoby Ellsbury, Matt Holliday,

Bench

The Yankees currently have a full 40-man roster and are only expected to make a few changes before Opening Day.

At this point, it looks like the Yankees will carry 12 pitchers and 13 position players on their Opening Day roster. Here’s a look at how the roster could shake out:

Pitchers (12): Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton, Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino, James Paxton, CC Sabathia, J.A. Happ, Jonathan Loaisiga, Dellin Betances, Chad Green, Tommy Kahnle, Stephen Tarpley

Position Players (13): Gary Sanchez, Luke Voit, Edwin Encarnacion, Brett Gardner, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, Didi Gregorius, Troy Tulowitzki*, Gleyber Torres*, Miguel Andujar*, DJ LeMahieu*, Mike Tauchman

* Injured list

Conclusion

Conclusion
The Yankees have a lot of talent on their roster, and they will be looking to add to it this offseason. They have been linked to several high-profile free agents, including Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. They are also rumored to be interested in trade targets like J.T. Realmuto and Corey Kluber.

With all of that said, here is my updated prediction for the Yankees’ 2019 Opening Day roster:

Starting Lineup:
1. LF Brett Gardner
2. SS Didi Gregorius
3. RF Aaron Judge
4. C Gary Sanchez
5. 1B Greg Bird
6. DH Giancarlo Stanton
7. CF Aaron Hicks
8. 3B Miguel Andujar
9. 2B Gleyber Torres
Bench: C Austin Romine, IF/OF Tyler Wade, OF Clint Frazier, OF Jacoby Ellsbury
(injured)
Starting Pitchers: Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray, CC Sabathia, Jordan Montgomery (injured) Middle Relievers: Dellin Betances, Zach Britton, Aroldis Chapman Setup Man: Chad Green Long Man: Jonathan Loaisiga (injured) Closer: Aroldis Chapman

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