With the swing of a bat and a throw of a pitch its time for spring training games to begin. Every year there are a few battles for roster spots and this year is no different. Lets look at the big ones.

Catcher: Its basically a three man race for two spots. Ultimately Austin Romaine is the catcher of the future as the roster is currently constructed. If he can show that he is ready and can beat out Cervelli and Stewart I think he has a chance to start. I don’t see any advantage to his development to making him the backup, he needs to play. Whether its at the major league level or at AAA being a back up is only going to hurt his development. That being said I think he will be starting at Scranton. I am pulling for him but Its a long shot.

Utility Infielder: Nunez and Nix are the candidates and I can see a case being made for Nix being the better defender and being able to play short or third but he is awful with the wood. Nunez has proven that he can hit at the Major league level and If he can get over his fielding woes, and its a big if, he is the guy I want out there. However does a reserve infielder need to be able to hit? Seems like it should be defense first. Nunez is younger and offers more on the base pads than Nix also. I am undecided but Im gonna say Nunez wins it out primarily because of all the other things Nunez can do with the bat that Nix cannot. Perhaps there will be some DH duty in their for him as well. As far as backing up at third A-Roid will be back eventually. God its a tough call. Also in the mix is Dan Johnson and Corbin Joseph although I figure one of them might make the bench anyhow because of them being left handed batters.

Fouth outfilder: Matt Diaz, Juan Rivera, Melky Mesa, Thomas Neal, Ronnier Mustelier, Zoilo Almonte  One of either Diaz or Rivera will probably take the platoon position that was previously held by Andruw Jones. But don’t expect both of them or any of the others to make the team. Mustelier is an intetesting prospect in that he also plays third. He is one of those almost good enough for the MLB kinda guys.

It seemed that the rotation was fairly set with CC Pettite Kuroda Hughes and Nova. But now Hughes has a bulging disc in his back. Which isnt as bad as it sounds but if it turns out to be something worse the Yankees may have some decisions to make. I think David Phelps is the logical choice to fill into the rotation. I actually think that there is a chance that he could beat out Nova for that fifth spot. This however is all the depth the Yankees have. Is there a chance the Yankees could go out and sign someone. Kyle Loshe is the name that keeps popping up. This would move Nova into the Bullpen along with Phelps if Hughes is healthy. Loshe would probably sit at number three or possibly number two in the rotation. He would also cost the Yankees a draft pick but they have two coming to them with the departure of Soriano and Swisher anyhow so this isnt a deal breaker.  Loshe is a guy who could be a nice fit in the Bronx and although he is 34 years old and has a history of injury’s he has pitched well over the last couple of seasons . Last season he was a work horse, pitching 211 innings with a record of 16-3 and an ERA of 2.86. He may well be out of the Yankees price range but the longer he remains unsigned the better the chance of striking up a deal.However with Boras as his agent deals don’t come cheap.

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