NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 20: Brett Gardner #11 of the New York Yankees looks on from the dugout in the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies during a Summer Camp game at Yankee Stadium on July 20, 2020 in the Bronx borough of New York City.
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The New York Yankees have released their Opening Day roster ahead of Thursday’s game against the Washington Nationals.

The New York Yankees have released their Opening Day roster, which includes pitching prospect Michael King. Per the Yankees’ official Twitter, these are the 30 men who will take the field against the Washington Nationals on Thursday night:

King, who rocketed through three levels of the team’s minor league system two years ago, is expected to pitch on Sunday. He posted a 3.86 ERA in four spring training/summer camp appearances and showcased impressive control. New York fans can also look forward to watching more of first baseman Mike Ford, who hit a moonshot home run that might have broken Statcast on Monday.

We finally made it, everyone. New York Yankees baseball is back. This is an interesting group of 30 players, a group that will shrink to 28 in a couple of weeks. A couple of weeks after that, the roster will trim to 26 players.

On the whole, this is a good group for Opening Day. A shortened season and quick summer camp mean carrying pitchers is a priority. It makes sense that someone like Luis Avilan or David Hale would be on the roster. The starters will likely be on a pitch count early in this unique year, so having a deep bullpen is key.

Notably absent is left-hander Jordan Montgomery, but it makes sense. The Yankees have Friday off and won’t need a fifth starter until next week. Thus, better to have Montgomery work at an alternate site until he is needed rather than travel and risk his health.

In other news, the Yankees will also make history with this Opening Day roster. Centerfielder Aaron Hicks will become the first player in MLB history to undergo Tommy John surgery and not miss a single game. The lineup and rotation are healthy, and the versatile DJ LeMahieu is set to return after recovering from COVID-19 earlier this month.

Watch out, fans. Here come the New York Yankees.

The Yankees take on the Washington Nationals Thursday night at 7:08 p.m., with the game set to be broadcast on ESPN. Gerrit Cole will make his New York debut, while three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer will pitch for Washington.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.