The New York Yankees are still ironing out their 26-man roster after their 5–0 opening day win, headlined by Gerrit Cole’s 11 strikeouts and a pair of homers courtesy of Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres.
Despite the Yankees striking out 16 times, their pitching and defense were quality all around, doing more than enough to secure victory. However, manager Aaron Boone suggested that roster moves are still being made, specifically noted by the acquisition of Colton Brewer, a 30-year-old bullpen arm who most recently pitched for the Boston Red Sox back in 2021 at the major league level.
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What is Colton Brewer bringing to the Yankees?
Brewer hosts a 5.04 ERA in his professional career, pitching 91 total innings. His best season came back in 2019, logging a 4.12 ERA and 8.56 strikeouts per nine across 54.2 innings, his largest sample size. However, Brewer spent spring training with the Tampa Bay rays, hosting a perfect 0.00 ERA across 9.1 total innings. He tallied 15 strikeouts over that sample size, giving up four hits and walking just three batters.
Boone suggested that the Yanks were going to add a relief pitcher to fill the last spot, carrying just 25 players for opening day. Things could continue to change, especially after the Yankees sent down Greg Weissert and Ian Hamilton to Triple-A Scranton. They also brought in Franchy Cordero, who most recently played with the Baltimore Orioles during spring training. Cordero was excellent this spring, hitting .413 with a .426 OBP and 1.100 OPS across 46 at-bats.
Brewer and Cordero are unproven MLB talents, so the Yankees may go in a different direction at some point. They have a few of their own players in limbo, specifically Estevan Florial, who really shouldn’t have made the 26th-man roster to begin with after his dismal spring performance.
Moving on from Florial feels inevitable:
Florial hit .175 with a .283 OBP in the month of March, tallying seven hits and a homer across 40 at-bats. It has been quite some time since Flo has justified a promotion and made a case to stick with the top team, but since he’s out of minor-league options, the Bombers have no choice but to continue filling a roster spot with his services.
I would not be surprised if the Yankees made several more roster moves in the coming weeks, especially after the return of Harrison Bader and the hopeful recovery of both Luis Severino and Carlos Rodon. For now, Jhony Brito is filling a starting rotation slot, and Clarke Schmidt and Domingo German will also be contributing there. Brito could end up back in Triple-A, and one of Schmidt and German could end up in the bullpen, depending on how the two perform over the next few weeks.
In conclusion, the Yankees’ roster is far from set in stone, bringing in a few spring training standouts to help fill backend spots. Eventually, bullpen acquisition from the Oakland Athletics, Lou Trivino, should also make a return from his elbow injury.
Trivino was one of the Yankees’ more trusted and consistent relief pitchers last year, enjoying a 1.66 ERA across 21.2 innings. As players get healthy and regain their spots on the roster, expect plenty of moves to be made, likely releasing some of the more recent acquisitions.