(with just a little insight into the first few days of the season!)
Well, if you compare my previous two articles on the Yankees in Spring Training,(https://twilightdawning.com/2016/03/18/the-new-york-yankees-in-spring-training-2016-update-1/ & https://twilightdawning.com/2016/03/25/the-new-york-yankees-in-spring-training-2016-update-2/ ), with what has actually happened you’ll find that I was pretty close to correctly predicting the opening day roster.
But I was lucky!
And the Yankees weren’t!
My first big incorrect guess was that Bryan Mitchell who deserved to be on the roster would nevertheless end up in Scranton because the Yankees had too much money tied up in Ivan Nova and CC Sabathia.
Well, the Yankees apparently decided to carry all three of those pitchers – despite the fact that all three seem more suited in my view to starting or long relieving than short appearances – and this would have meant that one of my other predictions would have been on the shuttle journey.
But then Bryan Mitchell tore the big toe on his left foot and is set to be out for four months. In addition, the Yankees had decided that Luis Cessa would be in the bullpen before the Mitchell injury so I can’t claim that they drafted in one player I hadn’t chosen to replace another who wasn’t on my 25. I was wrong on at least two spots if Mitchell hadn’t needed surgery.
And it could have been worse….Andrew Miller chipped a bone in his right-hand (non-pitching hand) and would have made for another incorrect guess for me if he wasn’t choosing to pitch through the discomfort.
Then there were the batters. Rob Refsnyder was where I went wrong here. Refsnyder spent quite a significant part of the Spring, getting ready to be the backup third base man and he just couldn’t do it. Twice, he tried to play a ground ball on a single hop but wound up with the ball in his face rather than in his glove. Hopefully, he’ll get some time to work on that at Scranton because he needs to make some significant improvement on his fielding work at that position.
In addition, Ronald Torreyes, who won the role that Refsnyder blew, was well down my list of possibles – not least for the nonsense that the Yankees went through in putting him on the 40-man roster and then placing him on waivers only then to reverse that decision. It seemed quite likely for a moment that he would be in the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim minor league system on opening day but he needed to clear waivers to go there.
Torreyes has gathered four hits in his first two regular season games as a New York Yankee and looks firmly embedded in that utility role unless he does something majorly wrong.
All of the first five games were games in which the starting pitchers struggled more than a little, although to be fair, CC Sabathia did much better than I’d expected.
On the other side of the equation, the bats, which had been so quiet in the Spring, have flared into life with Starlin Castro, Didi Gregorius and Brian McCann – along with supposed bit players like the aforementioned Torreyes – all doing well and some sterling fielding work from Aaron Hicks.
Mmm… this is getting interesting.