Saturday, February 4, 2017


When the 40 Yankees on this year's active roster report for work at the Boss in Tampa in two weeks, 23 non-roster players will be joining them. Or... to be more precise, 11 pitchers, 4 catchers, 6 infielders and 2 outfielders will be there to shag balls, throw and catch BP and flesh out the lineup cards until the starters are in game shape before moving on to their final destinations.

Basically, you can divvy up the non-roster invitees into three groups.

Photo: Pinstriped Prospects
1) Minor leaguers on their rookie contracts who were invited because the team expects them to be back as major leaguers sooner or later.  Looking at you Clint Frazier, Gleyber Torres, Justus Sheffield, James Kaprielian,  Dustin Fowler, Chance Adams and Tyler Wade.

Photo of Pete Kozma / Getty Images
2) Minor leaguers signed as farm depth who were invited because the team wants to evaluate if they could be potential lifeboats in the event four guys on the big club in the same position share a cab and plunge into the Harlem River.  That would be you Ji-Man Choi, Pete Kozma, Donovan Solano, Ruben Tejada, Wilkin Castillo, Kellin Deglan, Francisco Diaz, Jason Gurka, Joe Mantiply and Evan Rutckyj.

Photo of Daniel Camarena /
3) The annual Bullpen Cattle Call sponsored by Joe's Binder, where anybody with an arm, warm or stiff, is invited to step up to the mound and throw a few numbers.  These include J.P. Feyereisen, a throw-in from the Andrew Miller trade, along with Daniel Camarena, Brady Lail, Jordan Montgomery and even the TJ-rehabbing Nick Rumbelow.

Photo of: Jorge Saez
Throw in catcher Jorge Saez, a Rule-5 grab from Toronto who's sure to get sent right back before Opening Day, and there you have it, folks.

Throw in the 40 guys on the big roster and there will be 63 jerseys handed out by the equipment manager this spring.

And with 22 retired numbers (including The Captain come May) you can once again expect to see the tired old recycled stories soon complaining about how the Yankees retire too many numbers.

But never fear. The Yankees have been doing very nicely for years duplicating the higher numbers and splitting them up between  pitchers and position players.

And should there come a time when the big club really does run out of double digit numbers, I always say there's no reason in the world they can't just go straight  to triple digits. 

Think that's crazy?

(Yomiuri Giants pitcher Adam Bright is wearing 022)
When the Yankees first made numbers a permanent part of the uniform,  everybody thought that was kind of crazy. Now everybody does it. No biggie. They've already gone to triple digits in Japan and the world didn't end for them. So as long as the Yankees keep making great ballplayers, we'll keep retiring their numbers. 

And every spring we'll keep searching  and hoping for the next young Yankee whose number will be the next to go. 

 --Barry Millman
BYB Writer
Follow me on Twitter: @nyyankeefanfore

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting on Bleeding Yankee Blue.