The LoHud Yankees Blog

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

Taking a shot: Roster prediction

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Feb 09, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

This was a winter of predictable player moves for the Yankees. Granted, it would have been tough to predict the Youkilis signing back in October, but as soon as the A-Rod injury went public, Youkilis was heavily on the radar. For the most part, the Yankees re-signed a bunch of familiar faces, which doesn’t leave much room for surprises. I wanted to make some bold predictions in this space, but as long as everyone stays health, the safe bets make the most sense. 

Brett Gardner CF
Derek Jeter SS
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Curtis Granderson LF
Travis Hafner DH
Kevin Youkilis 3B
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Austin Romine C

I’ve gone back and forth about Romine’s chances of making the team. The Yankees are making it clear that they project him to be in Triple-A, but that might be little more than setting low expectations and limiting the chance of disappointment. I’ll guess that Romine shows something this spring, earns the trust of the pitching staff and wins the job. I’ve written several times that I’m expecting Gardner to win the center field job, and that opinion hasn’t changed.

As for the batting order, the Yankees initial use of Ichiro last season — at or near the bottom of the order — seemed to be a clear sign that they recognize his skills aren’t what they used to be. He moved up last season because he got hot and the Yankees had a need, but Gardner’s patient approach deserves a long look and serious consideration. The Yankees have toyed with the idea of him as their leadoff hitter in the past, and the current lineup construction — without so many power bats, and minus one switch hitter — makes this a good time to give Gardner another shot at the top. The Yankees could mix-and-match Granderson, Hafner and Youkilis in several ways, but I’ll guess that Granderson has a good camp that restores hope that he can be an elite run producer, which wins him the No. 5 spot.

Chris Stewart C
Eduardo Nunez SS/DH
Matt Diaz OF
Jayson Nix UT

If Romine makes the big league roster, Stewart’s lack of an option should make him the favorite to return as the Yankees backup. And if Nunez shows anything offensively, he should be a favorite to get regular at-bats against lefties (probably playing shortstop while Jeter rests as DH). Of the in-house options for the right-handed outfield role, I’ll give Diaz the front-runner status — if injuries caused his recent dip in production, and he’s healthy now, he could show something this spring — but if Diaz struggles, I wouldn’t be at all stunned to see the Yankees find a trade partner to improve that roster spot. I’ll picking Nix to make the roster strictly for stability. He can play anywhere, and there’s value in that, especially on this roster.

CC Sabathia
Hiroki Kuroda
Andy Pettitte
Phil Hughes
Ivan Nova

Not really going out on a limb here. It’s hard to pick against any of the top four. Barring injury, those four have spots locked up. The only real choice is the last spot, and Nova deserves to be considered the favorite. He was awfully bad in the second half of last season, but he was awfully good before that. Nova’s stuff is good, and he’s worth another look. It’s worth finding out how good David Phelps can be as well, but as long as there’s room for only one of them in the rotation, I’ll give Nova the nod. For now, anyway.

Mariano Rivera
Dave Robertson
Joba Chamberlain
David Aardsma
Boone Logan
Clay Rapada
David Phelps

I really wanted to shake things up here, but these pieces simply make too much sense. As long as Rivera’s knee is fine, Aardsma’s elbow is strong enough to have a decent fastball, and Chamberlain doesn’t destroy his ankle again, there’s little reason to keep them out of the pen. Same for Robertson and Logan, and a second lefty really fits Joe Girardi’s style of bullpen management. He’d been searching for a second left-hander for years, and seemed to really find one in Rapada. For the last spot, the Yankees are going to need a long man. I could see Adam Warren having a great camp, and I don’t think Chase Whitley should be ruled out, but Phelps has been tested. Short of wanting to keep him stretched out as a starter, I can’t see much reason to keep him out of the big league pen.

Associated Press photos





38 Responses to “Taking a shot: Roster prediction”

  1. Chip February 9th, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    The only change I would have to Chad’s 25 is that I think Mustellier makes the team over Diaz. I think his defensive versatility will give him the edge. It’s also possible that Mustellier and Diaz both make the team and Nunez opens in AAA to continue working on his defense at SS (and other positions).

    In the pen, once he’s healthy I think Cabral replaces Rapada.

  2. Chip February 9th, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Oh, I also agree with the notion that Phelps could start in AAA rather than work out of the big league pen.

  3. sar515 February 9th, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    no mention of Cervelli??

    The only change in batting order would be flipping Youk and Hafner…and “catcher” and Ichiro.

  4. 86w183 February 9th, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    I think they need Diaz’ power potential versus LHP…. so the last spot may come down to Mustelier versus Nix. Nunez is a given with his bat and speed.

    Personally I’d only carry 11 pitchers, but I’ve been tilting at that windmill for years.

    An extra position player will do much for a team than a 12th arm which is needed maybe once or twice a month. Less if you have strong starting pitching.

  5. RMS February 9th, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Yankee pitching needs to carry this team. And a big bottle of Geritol.

  6. tomingeorgia February 9th, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Way off topic: Wife got a Windows 8 computer for Christmas, and hates it. I’ve got a clean, legal disc for Win 7 Professional, which she likes and would like loaded. Quick, easy way to do it? I’ve tried what I know, and it hasn’t worked. I could reformat the whole drive and do a clean install, but do I have to? It’d also be nice not to overwrite Win 8, for when we sell the thing. Any tips?

  7. Cashmoney February 9th, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Diaz’s stat read no potential to me last two years, but I really haven’t watch him as a player. Does he have a potent bat against LH?

  8. bardos February 9th, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Tom in Georgia Dual boot work for you?

  9. tomingeorgia February 9th, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    That would be great! How do I do that?

  10. BronxBorn February 9th, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Tom… she can keep 8 but get one of these apps that make it work a little more like 7. i would not give up on 8 but it does take some getting used to. but the security in 8 is better than 7. check out this article.

  11. jmills February 9th, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    ” I came to win, to fight, to conquer to fly, I came to fight, to prosper , to right. ”

    How ya’ doin’ Yankee fans?

  12. jacksquat February 9th, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Diaz’ power?

    I don’t think it’s more than Mustelier’s. He has done nothing but hit since he joined the organization, including winter ball. If he continues to hit in spring training they should go with him.

  13. tucker February 9th, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Nunez may get a few more starts to give Jeter some more time off. It is clear that an accumulation of wear and tear and playing through minor ailments contributed to his injury. Jeter won’t want to rest, but they should be conservative w/him in the first half of the season.

  14. jmills February 9th, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Tucker, I caught a BBC production on the hx of English prog rock. Very interesting, Yes and all, but for some reason they left Pink out?

  15. tucker February 9th, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Mustelier is an intriguing player. If he doesn’t break camp with the team, I hope he at least gets a shot during the year.

  16. tucker February 9th, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Jmills, I was a big prong rock guy in my teens, but I’m much more into the roots and garage rock scenes these days. Three chords and the truth!

  17. jmills February 9th, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Tucker, Kurt Cobain was a closet prog fan.

    The Police were essentially from the same place.l

  18. jmills February 9th, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    When King Crimson opened for the Stones in Hyde park, 20th century schizoid man left everyone silent.

  19. pkyankfan69 February 9th, 2013 at 4:53 pm


    Did you give MMJ a listen?

  20. jmills February 9th, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Pk, I did, Japanese women. Very good.

  21. jmills February 9th, 2013 at 4:59 pm;rel=0

    La Police in Amsterdam, where else?

  22. 86w183 February 9th, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    With Diaz it all comes down to health which he has not had for three years.

    His best year was 2009 — .878 OPS in 425 PA — 1.103 OPS versus LHP

    Even with injuries his career OPS versus LHP is a strong .863

  23. Tar February 9th, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    A Bronx Born sighting! Nice to see you, hope things are well.

  24. tomingeorgia February 9th, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    Already have one of those apps, works OK. I don’t see the point of Win 8 if you don’t have a touch screen PC. Just confuses us old farts. More secure, maybe, but I’m not dealing with nuclear secrets, or even bank accounts.

  25. jmills February 9th, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Tom, the whole computer thing is a rip off, complete constipation.

  26. Tar February 9th, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    Romine has to get some more games under his belt. To get those games, he has to start. I would be shocked if its not AAA, but stranger things have happened.

    Nix does give them versatility and he seems to have that intense “in to the game” mentality. But his complete futility against RH pitching makes him expendable IMO.

    The Yankees seem to really like Cabral. For that reason alone he’s my wild card pick.

  27. jmills February 9th, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    I have never seen, Yes, or, Bill Bruford for that matter.( But, sometimes I do )

  28. jmills February 9th, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    I went to see Rush for the first time in 84 Grace under Pressure thing. Well, let me tell you, Lifeson put a ring in my right ear for a f…… Week.

  29. jmills February 9th, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Prior to completing albums like, ” Permanent Waves, ” and, ” Moving Pictues, ” Rush used to introduce the songs at Radio City. What a great concert!

  30. tomingeorgia February 9th, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    I’ve got a bunch of computers some pretty secure, some not, like the ones I us to talk to you. A bunch of operating systems, too. Just don’t understand why Win 8 had to be so different in look and feel.

    By the way, aren’t you into your ear buds, and other buds, a little early tonight? Understand it’s a snow day.

  31. BronxBorn February 9th, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Hello friend Tar, how are you doing? Am up in NY for a bit eating snow…

  32. BronxBorn February 9th, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Tom, of course up to you. I am finding it to be a better op system. My computer runs smoother, etc. Being more secure is important even if you don’t have secret bank accounts in Switzerland.

  33. jmills February 9th, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Yeah, Tom, its a snow day.

  34. yankeehotelfoxtrot February 9th, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    We made it full circle back to the Rush convo? Sweet!!

  35. jmills February 9th, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    Hi YF!, rock on!!!

  36. jmills February 9th, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    Sorry, Yankee in a hotel, thought it was yankeefeminista for a moment- take good care!!!

  37. 4 NYY February 9th, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    Not sure about Aardsma’s arm stength. If it’s all the way back, then yes.

  38. GR February 22nd, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Gardner was the starting left fielder when he went down. Why is everyone thinking that it will change? I say Grandy in center, Gardy in left and Cervelli catching. Otherwise I agree!

Leave a comment below

Sponsored by:





    Read The LoHud Yankees Blog on the go by navigating to the blog on your smartphone or mobile device's browser. No apps or downloads are required.


Place an ad

Call (914) 694-3581