Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Yankees pitchers and catchers report to Tampa next week to officially kick off the 2020 season, and there hasn't been much change to our earlier 26-man roster prediction 1.0.
The Bombers are still very much poised to make a World Series run and capture their 28th title. There are, however, a couple of tweaks that we can still make with the Yankees making some things more clear heading into spring training.
So, without further ado, let's look at the starting lineup...
Gary Sanchez, C
Luke Voit, 1B
DJ LeMahieu 2B
Gleyber Torres, SS
Gio Urshela, 3B
Giancarlo Stanton, LF
Brett Gardner, CF
Aaron Judge, RF
Miguel Andujar, DH
Nothing has changed here since our last prediction. The main thing is Andujar remains a Yankee, as trade talks quieted down a ton. Still, GM Brian Cashman has made it clear that Gio Urshela will be heading into camp as the team's starting third baseman.
"It's Gio's job to lose," he told MLB.com. "The same as it was Andujar's job to lose until he got hurt."
Andujar, then, stays on as the team's DH, though he will probably be seeing some time at first base and left field in spring training. Voit is looking really good, documenting in his workouts that he's fully recovered from that core muscle injury that ended his 2019 season prematurely. Every other position is copacetic.
So last time I said I was confident Cashman would find a way to get Happ's contract off the books somehow. But that quickly changed when Cashman endorsed the veteran lefty as the team's fifth starter, which forces the change from Jordan Montgomery.
Cashman told YES Network's Meredith Marakovits that Happ would be the team's fifth starter, saying "they believe that there's a lot more in the tank" following an awful 2019 season that saw him lose his starting role by the start of the postseason. Make no mistake: he could have a very short leash to start the year.
Other than that change, things remain the same with Boone configuring those other four how he likes, with Cole presumably at the top.
Mike Tauchman, OF
Clint Frazier, OF
Tyler Wade, INF
Mike Ford, 1B/DH
Chris Iannetta, C
With Austin Romine finding a new home in Detroit, the Yankees stocked up on a few catchers to fight it out at spring training. The veteran Iannetta should win that battle, though.
We had Higashioka before, but if he can't out-hit Iannetta (which isn't the hardest task in the world), he'll likely stay down in Triple-A to start the season. Eriz Kratz and Josh Thole will also be a part of that backup catcher battle.
Frazier remains a Yankee, as there were no significant trades made by Cashman. Between Frazier and Tauchman, that's some solid backup outfielders. The Yankees also didn't get another first baseman, which means they have faith in Ford to continue his rise after a solid second half last season.
LHP Aroldis Chapman
LHP Zack Britton
RHP Adam Ottavino
RHP Chad Green
RHP Tommy Kahnle
RHP Jonathan Holder
RHP Luis Cessa
The bullpen also remains the exact same, with Stephen Tarpley traded to the Marlins. He was the man that might have been considered had Boone wanted another lefty to work with. Also, the rumors of the Yankees' interest in adding Royals LHP Tim Hill or Brewers LHP Josh Hader have died for right now.
And while Montgomery could potentially break camp with the Yankees as a long reliever, the smart thing for the Yanks to do would be to have him gain innings in Triple-A after coming off Tommy John surgery.