By William Tasker
We are two days away from that wacky time of year when team active rosters can expand from 25 to any amount from 26 to forty. If your team is out of the chase, you can call up a bunch of prospects you want to look at, but as Joe Girardi has said in the past, September is not the time for auditions when in a race to make the playoffs. While the Yankees are currently racing like Jeff Gordon trying to make the last four laps on bald tires, they are still giving it their best shot. That said, don’t expect any fun prospect porn from the Yankees.
First of all, you can only bring up players from your 40-man roster (I’ve read the actual MLB rules here and they are a bit ambiguous). So those of you hoping for a fun glimpse of Rob Refsnyder or even Pat Venditte will be disappointed unless the Yankees clear room on the 40-man roster. If Masahiro Tanaka gets switched from the 15 to 60-day DL, then that opens up a spot.
Let’s look at the pitching, the infield, the outfield and catching to predict what the Yankees will do:
Pitchers not on the active 25-man roster but are on the 40-day roster include: Manny Banuelos, Jose Campos, Preston Claiborne,Matt Daley, Bryan Mitchell, Jose Ramirez and Chase Whitley. Last year, the Yankees only called up three pitchers. I do not think you will see Banuelos and you definitely won’t see Campos. Bryan Mitchell is a long shot at best. Most likely, you will get relief help that has already seen some Major League action. That said, my prediction would be: Daley, Ramirez, Whitley and Claiborne.
Catchers on the 40-man roster include John Ryan Murphy, Austin Romine and Gary Sanchez. Sanchez would be fun to see but he would be the most unlikely of guests with the first two mostly likely to get the call.
There are no infielders not already on the active list. Zelous Wheeler is already with the club.
The three outfielders on the 40-man roster and not currently with the club include Zoilo Almonte, Ramon Flores and Slade Heathcott. You can rule out Heathcott. Zoilo Almonte is sure to get a call up and Flores might as well with Jacoby Ellsbury hurting. Neither seem like they add much to the team heading down the home stretch.
The conclusion here is that for those who follow the Yankees, September will not bring additional excitement with an infusion of young talent. Backup catchers, back of the bullpen fillers and 4-A outfielders are not all that exciting. But at least there will be a few more hands to slap after the occasional Yankee homer.