The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Opening eyes

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Mar 16, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

There aren’t many roster spots up for grabs here in Tampa. The most interesting battles seem to be for the fifth starter and who plays center field, but those aren’t fights for roster spots so much as decisions on who plays where. The utility infielder spot might be available (depending whether you consider Ramiro Pena a lock), the final spot on the bench is available (with two obvious leading candidates) and the pitching staff seems to have one opening in the bullpen.

Most players in camp are simply trying to make an impression, hoping to be the guy called up when a spot inevitably opens. So far, so good for these guys.

Kevin Russo
Infielder
.385 average, .500 on-base percentage
Could make a push for that utility job, especially if he keeps getting playing time at shortstop and proves he can handle the position. He hit last year in Triple-A, and he’s kept hitting here in big league camp. If he doesn’t beat Pena for the utility job, he could certainly push for a quick call-up.

Mark Melancon
Right-handed reliever
3.2 innings, 0 walks, 5 strikeouts
Probably the top relief prospect in the system, Melancon has been sharp through his first few outings. He could be crowded out of the big league bullpen — especially if the Yankees carry a second lefty — but don’t be surprised if he follows the same path Dave Robertson followed last season: Open in Triple-A, called up early, pitching key innings late.

Boone Logan and Royce Ring
Left-handed relievers
9 innings, 7 strikeouts, 1 walk, 3 hits
Both Logan and Ring have so far made a strong case for a second bullpen lefty, but Logan also has an option left and Ring is in camp on a minor league deal, meaning both can be sent to Triple-A if they don’t make the big league roster.

Greg Golson
Center fielder
2 doubles, 1 home run, 5 RBI
Golson has three hits this spring, and all three have been for extra bases. He’s also shown great speed and terrific range. Considering he has a spot on the 40-man, he could get a chance to play off the bench at some point this season.

Jason Hirsh
Right-handed pitcher
3.2 innings, 0 hits, 0 walks, 5 strikeouts
Once a massive pitching prospect in the Astros system, he’s battled injuries the past few seasons but seems to be finally healthy again. Could push for a bullpen job, but more likely going to Scranton to work out of the rotation. Legitimate chance at the sixth starter role.

Colin Curtis
Outfielder
.500 average, .639 on-base, 1.000 slugging
Curtis made some adjustments this winter and it led to huge numbers in the Arizona Fall League. He’s continued hitting for power through his first few at-bats in big league camp. If he can carry these results into the regular season, he’s a toolsy enough outfielder to get a look in New York. Curtis, Jon Weber and David Winfree have all looked pretty good these first few weeks, but none of them has Golson’s 40-man spot.

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