In a bit of a surprising move, the Yanks cut Juan Rivera, 34, who hit .244-9-47, OPS+ 81 with the Dodgers last year. His 162 g. average for his career is .274-20-83, OPS+ 102.
Instead, they kept Lyle Overbay, who it appears will be a platoon 1B. Overbay was just picked up three days ago after he was cut by Boston. Overbay is the better defensive 1B (1222 games there as opposed to 106 for Rivera), but in 2011 and 2012 COMBINED, he played in 186 games, (Pit, AZ, Atl) and hit .239-11-57, OPS+ 89. Not only that, but Overbay is 36. He is a lefty hitter, so maybe he can take advantage of the porch. But Overbay was never a big power hitter, as he has a 162 g. average of .270-16-71 OPS+ 108 for his career.
Until Jeter returns from the DL, it appears like Overbay at 1B vs. Righties with Youkilis at 3B, and (like on Opening Day vs. Lester) Youkilis at 1B vs. lefties with Jayson Nix at 3B.
Of course, the Yanks are also hoping that Teixera can return.
The Yanks are also keeping Ben Francisco, 31, as a backup OF. Francisco hit .240-4-15 in 192 AB (3 teams) in 2012. Over the past two seasons COMBINED, he is .242-10-49 in 182 g., OPS+ 89. His 162 g. ave. is .257-15-56, OPS+ 101.
Brennan Boesch apparently will make the team. A lefty bat, Boesch will be a backup OF with Francisco, behind Wells, Gardner and Ichiro (until Granderson returns). Boesch, 27, hit just .240-12-54 for Detroit last year (OPS+ 77). His 162 g. ave. is .259-18-75, OPS+ 96 (100 is average).
With the injuries (Jeter, Granderson, A-Rod and Teix) and defections (Martin, Ibanez, Chavez and Swisher) it’s a patchwork lineup. Which is why many are predicting gloom and doom for the Bronx (Ex?)-Bombers this season.
The 13 position players going north appear to be:
Cervelli, Stewart, Hafner, Overbay, Cano, Nunez, Youkilis, Nix, Boesch, Francisco, Wells, Gardner and Ichiro.
Hopefully A-Rod, Granderson, Jeter and Teixeira get back soon. That 13 looks quite mediocre. Their HR total between the 13 of them could be 100 less than the Yanks hit as a team last year.
Ronnier Mustelier has a bone bruise on his knee from his collision with a railing in chasing a foul ball. Mustelier had an outside chance at best of making the team, but he won’t now. I hope he hits well at AAA and shows a good enough glove. I’d rather have him than say, Nix or Francisco.
Hughes will start on the DL and so will Rapada. Two spots are up for grabs. The ten pitchers so far going north are CC, Kuroda, Pettitte, Nova, Phelps, Joba, Logan, Robertson, Aardsma and Mo.
You wonder if Vidal Nuno (named best rookie in camp) may make it, or Shawn Kelley, Cody Eppley or Jim Miller.
The Yanks are coming north. They will play an exhibition game vs. the Nationals in D.C. Friday and one at West Point vs. Army on Saturday. They will be off Sunday before starting the season Monday vs. Boston.