With the New York Yankees opening day against the Boston Red Sox just over a week away, the Yankees roster for the 2022 season looks like it’s just about finalized. The regulars are already set in stone. Of course, guys like Aaron Judge and Gerrit Cole will be starting on opening day.
There aren’t any big moves left to make to impact the starting lineup or rotation, but the players who will make up the Yankees bench and bullpen are still up to some speculation. Emerging prospects and veteran journeymen have just a few games left to show why they deserve a spot on the Yankees 28-man roster.
The most likely candidates to round out the opening day roster are players already on the 40-man roster. Performance in spring training games will be the determining factor to determine who is chosen. Backup outfielder, utility infielder, backup catcher, and middle/long relief are all spots up for grabs.
Heading into spring training it looked like the Yankees would go with a lefty-righty platoon with newly acquired Ben Rortvert and Kyle Higashioka. However, due to Rortvert’s oblique injury, it is unlikely that he will be ready for opening day. Rob Brantly is the only other catcher on the 40-man, so he will probably start the year as the backup catcher.
Rounding Out the Infield:
Josh Donaldson, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Gleyber Torres, and Anthony Rizzo will be the starting infield with DJ LeMahieu being the super-utility man. While Oswaldo Cabrera or Oswald Peraza cracking the opening day roster is unlikely, Marwin Gonzalez has a great chance. Gonzalez has been having a terrific spring so far and his positional versatility could land him a spot on the opening day roster.
With Brett Gardner surprisingly still not signed, it looks like Tim Locastro will fill the role of fourth outfielder. There aren’t any other fourth outfield candidates who are exactly hitting the cover off the ball. That makes Locastro, who was signed to a major league contract, the most likely candidate.
Miguel Andujar has been having a good spring so far and could end up earning a bench spot.
Rounding Out the Pitching Staff:
The Yankees bullpen will feature their established hurlers late in games like Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, and Jonathan Loaisiga. But, there are still a few spots to fill in the middle/long relief role. Luis Gil has been impressive so far this spring. Gill, along with Micheal King and Deivi Garcia, will probably get the nod.
Catchers: Kyle Higashioka, Rob Brantly
Infielders: DJ LeMahieu, Anthony Rizzo, Josh Donaldson, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Gleyber Torres, Marwin Gonzalez
Pitchers: Gerrit Cole, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Severino, Nestor Cortes Jr., Jameson Taillon, Chad Green, Aroldis Chapman, Jonathan Loaisiga, Lucus Luetge, Wandy Peralta, Clay Holmes, Joely Rodriguez, Luis Gil, Michael King, Deivi Garcia