Just days away from regular-season baseball, it seems the New York Yankees have put together their official 25-man Opening Day roster.
The #Yankees Opening Day roster appears to be set:
SP (5): Tanaka Paxton Happ German Sabathia*
RP (8): Chapman Britton Green Holder Kahnle Ottavino Tarpley Cessa
C (2): Sanchez Romine
IF (6): Andujar Bird LeMahieu Torres Tulowitzki Voit
OF (4): Gardner Judge Stanton Tauchman
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) March 24, 2019
The first thing to note is the inclusion of newly acquired Mike Tauchman instead of homegrown Wade. Most fans, myself included, thought Wade was an absolute lock due to his speed and defensive versatility. Further, Wade had a fantastic spring offensively working with a simplified swing and regular at-bats.
Unfortunately, the team felt more comfortable going with Tauchman because of his ability to play all three outfield positions.
The team also decided to carry both Luke Voit and Greg Bird to start the season. First base was the only competition that carried throughout the entirety of spring training. Both Voit and Bird were so good that it was absolutely impossible to send one of them down. Voit and Bird will likely split time between first base and DH until one of them starts to struggle.
As for pitchers, Domingo German earned a spot in the rotation as Jonathan Loaisiga will start the year in Triple-A. An injured CC Sabathia will be on the roster due to the five-game suspension he received in 2018. His spot will likely go to recently acquired Gio Gonzalez until Sabathia is healthy.
Tommy Kahnle is back in the bullpen after struggling in 2018 and losing a lot of velocity due to pitching through injury. Joining him in the middle innings are Luis Cessa and Stephen Tarpley, both of whom had incredible springs and will look to keep the momentum rolling into the regular season.
In conclusion, the only real surprise here is that Tauchman will take the last spot on the bench rather than Tyler Wade. Cessa will work out of the bullpen but could receive some spot starts if the Yankees try bullpenning in the regular season.
Voit and Bird will continue to battle until one of them emerges victorious. The loser of that battle will likely be sent down to triple-A and replaced with another reliever.