The Yankees have used 40 different players this season, a list that includes brief stints by Buddy Carlyle, Steve Garrison, Brian Gordon, Jeff Marquez, Amauri Sanit, Brandon Laird and Greg Golson. They’ve sent 17 different players to the disabled list, including two starting pitchers, two setup relievers and two starting infielders.
But after 113 games, the current roster looks remarkably similar to the Opening Day roster. Only three current Yankees were not on the team on March 31.
In place of Gustavo Molina
Really, this was Cervelli’s job all along. It was momentarily up for grabs when Cervelli was hurt in spring training, but his temporary replacement, Molina, got exactly three at-bats before Cervelli was activated. It might be a different story had Jesus Montero won the job out of camp, but he didn’t, and Cervelli’s taken his familiar spot on the bench. He’s more-or-less become Sabathia’s personal catcher in a behind-the-place rotation that lets Russell Martin get a regular day off every five days. So far the Yankees have stuck with Cervelli rather than call Montero up from Triple-A.
In place of Joba Chamberlain
I guess this is the way it’s worked out: Rafael Soriano has replaced Chamberlain in the seventh inning, Dave Robertson has replaced Soriano in the eighth, and Wade has replaced Robertson as the middle-innings, get-out-of-trouble reliever. Signing Wade to a minor league deal on June 13 was one of the best and least noticed moves of the season. He has the lowest WHIP on the team, even lower than the closer. For a while it seemed that Luis Ayala was emerging as the the top reliever beyond the late-inning trio, but that distinction clearly belongs to Wade these days. He got a big out for the Yankees on Friday, and he’s been without question the organization’s best in-season addition.
In place of Alex Rodriguez
With Rodriguez on the disabled list, the Yankees are carrying an extra pitcher, and essentially that’s the spot Noesi is filling. He’s taken the role that belonged to Bartolo Colon on Opening Day — a multi-inning reliever capable of pitching key late innings if necessary — and now that Colon has joined the original five starters, Noesi is filling the open spot in the bullpen. Given the Yankees young rotation depth, it’s inevitable that some young starters are going to be moved into the bullpen, and Noesi has taken to the role. He’s had some rocky outings — he struggled on Saturday — but as a long man, he’s been generally reliable and occasionally outstanding.