Yankees: Two lowkey players who have made a significant impact this spring

New York Yankees, Jay Bruce
Mar 6, 2021; Bradenton, Florida, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Jay Bruce (30) hits a home run in the top of the first inning during spring training at LECOM Park. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have had a successful spring, despite falling to the Baltimore Orioles 2-1 on Saturday evening. Their offense has gone quiet the past few games, but their pitching remains a strength. Against Baltimore, Michael King last 4.0 innings, recording six strikeouts and giving up one run. He currently has a 3.46 ERA this spring, but with a majority of the backups featuring against the Orioles, they only managed to record three hits and one run.

With player cuts already underway, the Yankees elected to part ways with first baseman Mike Ford, which could indicate a low-key player making the roster and potentially having an impact on the 2021 season.

Here are two New York Yankees who can make the active roster:

Lucas Luetge:

Lucas Luetge has been phenomenal this spring, pitching 6.1 innings and earning a 0.00 ERA with 13 strikeouts and just for hits allowed. At 34 years old, Lucas hasn’t played in the MLB since 2015 with the Seattle Mariners. Having bounced around the minor-league system, he’s experiencing a rejuvenation, and the Yankees could benefit tremendously, especially with star relief arm Zack Britton for the next few weeks.

Jay Bruce:

One of the reasons the Yankees likely reassigned Ford is due to the emergence of Jay Bruce. The former first-round pick back in 2005 is known for his slugging ability, having hit double-digit homers in 11 of 13 total seasons. Last year with the Philadelphia Phillies, Bruce had six HRs and 14 RBIs in 32 games. While 2020 was a down campaign, he most recently hit double digits in 2019 with 26.

Bruce has had some health complications in the past but has proven he can be a consistent threat, hitting .261 this spring, including two home runs and three RBIs. If he continues to show adequacy at the plate, he could be a first-choice reserve option in the outfield, and the Yankees always prefer sluggers over contacted hitters.