Yankees announce major roster moves as Opening Day approaches

yankees, estevan florial

The Yankees announced a pair of roster moves today, as both Estevan Florial and Rafael Ortega have made the Opening Day roster. It’s a surprise move concerning Flo, but less surprising when you consider the fact that he’ll likely be DFA’d when Bader returns. I don’t know how he can make the roster following his atrocious spring, and 0 evidence supporting him being an MLB player.

Earlier, I wrote a piece bidding him farewell, I suppose I was mistaken. Additionally, both Greg Weissert and Ian Hamilton have been optioned to Scranton to start the season. 

As per Marly Rivera of ESPN, “Yankees sent down Willie Calhoun and optioned Greg Weissert. Estevan Florial and Rafael Ortega are going to New York. Neither have been informed of a final decision. [Ian] Hamilton is going to Scranton.”

Marly Rivera, ESPN

These moves leave more questions than answers:

Regardless of how I personally feel about the Florial move, good for him to make the roster out of the gate. He’s battled injuries and inconsistent playtime, so this will likely be his last shot to impress enough to stay. His -7 wRC+ last year gives me little hope, though that was over just 35 PAs. He has the tools and raw talent to succeed, he just has to cut down on the swings and misses. A 35.1% K Rate is not sustainable, even as a bench bat. 

The bullpen moves make no sense to me, as now I have no idea who the organization will choose to deploy as the final arm in the bullpen. Both Ian Hamilton and Greg Weissert were supposedly jockeying for the final bullpen spot, and now neither guy gets the gig. Maybe the Yanks won’t add another arm for the first week, since it seems that Carlos Rodón will be returning back to the rotation in the near future. 

I think the Yanks will likely be making the decision on the two outfielders they’re carrying in the next day or so, as the new rules don’t allow for a 5-man bench to be in place. The lack of a final bullpen arm could mean a trade is in the works, so that’ll be something to monitor here as we rapidly approach OD. 

Rafael Ortega put together a nice spring and can man all three outfield positions, plus he has some decent wheels and a phenomenal eye at the plate. His ability to work walks and hit for some power, as well as clobber righties, should likely see him win that spot over Florial, but for now, we’ll have to wait and see.

The Yankees’ bullpen could be getting some reinforcements in the next 24 hours”

The Yankees don’t necessarily need a bullpen arm, as both Hamilton and Weissert impressed this spring, and could likely handle a lower level of responsibilities to start this season. The Yankees still have too many cooks in the kitchen offensively, so something has to give here before OD. The team also optioned Matt Krook and Deivi Garcia prior to today, and they must be believing that there’s another arm out there that they can bring over to help hold down the fort while Kahnle and Trivino recover. The next day or so should be exciting to keep an eye on.

Opening Day is Thursday, so the clock is ticking. I’m excited to see what moves the organization decides to make and if a new reliever is heading to the Bronx soon. I think that’s what the move will be, though it will have to take place in the next 24 hours or so. Good for Florial and Ortega, but now the final decision on which one makes it hangs in the balance.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: