Yankees 26-Man Roster Prediction
Once again, the Yankees are flooded with injuries entering this upcoming season. With the season’s unexpected delay due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, the Yankees will have some much needed time to prepare and heal up before the season. Here are my predictions for the Yankees 26-man roster for the 2020 season.
It seems like a near-certainty that Higashioka will make the roster as Sanchez’s primary backup. With Austin Romine out of town, the backup job is Higgy’s to lose.
Voit and Ford didn’t get much playing time during the Yankees’ 2019 playoff run on account of Voit’s injury and Aaron Boone’s decision to slide D.J. LeMahieu over to first base. Now, with LeMahieu back at his natural position of second base, we can fully expect Voit to start with Ford as his primary backup.
With the departure of Didi Gregorius and Gleyber Torres taking over full-time at shortstop, LeMahieu is cemented as the Yankees’ starting second baseman. Following a fantastic season that saw him place fourth in the AL MVP race, LeMahieu will look to continue his dominant form.
The future is now as Gleyber Torres is now the full-time shortstop for the New York Yankees. Coming into the majors as a shortstop, it will be nice to finally see Torres in his natural position for a full season. This is a no-brainer.
After Miguel Andujar’s unfortunate early-season injury last year, Urshela took the reigns at third base and ran away with the position. Now, with Andujar back in the fold, it will be interesting to see how Aaron Boone utilizes the two young third basemen. While both are certainly cemented onto the roster, I expect Urshela to start with Andujar in more of a DH or utility role.
With uncertainly surrounding the MLB season’s official start, I believe that Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge will both be ready by the time we reach that point. With such a massive injury risk surrounding the two star outfielders, having a solid reserve option such as Mike Tauchman is crucial. With Aaron Hicks slated for a lengthy absence, Brett Gardner will be starting in center field until Hicks’ eventual return.
With the season’s delay, I also expect James Paxton to be ready to play when baseball does return. Cole, Tanaka and Happ are locks to make the rotation while an intriguing battle takes place for the rotation’s final spot. Personally, I fully expect Jordan Montgomery to win that battle and earn the Yankees’ fifth and final spot in the starting rotation.
The Yankees undoubtedly have one of the league’s premier bullpens, and an argument can be made that they have the most talented. We shouldn’t expect many changes from last year’s team, especially in the pen. I envision Loaisiga makes the roster as a “sixth starter” of sorts in case of a injury or for the occasional spot start. Of course, Chapman will be the closer as usual.
NEW: 26th Man
Wade is the utility piece that brings some much needed speed to the Yankees’ bench. Wade would be the perfect candidate for the MLB’s new 26th man spot. Because of this new roster spot, expect him to be with the Yankees on Opening Day, whenever that may be.
Follow Vincent Chase on Twitter (@vincentchase97)