Making a Team from the Current 40-Man Roster

So let’s play a little “What If” here. Let’s pretend that the Yankees don’t make any more moves before the start of the season and decide to make a roster only out of the players currently on the 40 Man Roster. So, that discounts Jesus Montero. I considered making an exception since the plan for 2011 includes him, but, for once, I’ll be strict in my roster construction.

We’ve got 18 pitchers to choose from, and we’ll go with, as most teams do, a 13 man pitching staff: 5 starters, 8 relievers.

1. CC Sabathia
2. Phil Hughes
3. A.J. Burnett
4. Ivan Nova
5. Sergio Mitre

The first two? Good. I’m confident in those two. The third? Meh…he’ll likely improve, but I won’t hold my breath. The last two scare the hell out of me. I hate Mitre, but I sub him in for Andrew Brackman because I think it’s important that Brackman iron out the final kinks in the less-stressful minors. The same goes for Dellin Betances, who also needs to show he can stay healthy before I’m giving him any look in the Majors.

CL: Mariano Rivera
RP: David Robertson
RP: Joba Chamberlain
RP: Boone Logan
RP: Pedro Feliciano
RP: Ryan Pope
RP: Romulo Sanchez

After Logan, this bullpen gets pretty scary. Sanchez throws pretty damn hard, so there’s some upside there. Of the minor league options after Pope, he seems best. The site hasn’t updated to include Feliciano, but we can “cheat” here since he’s been signed.

C: Russel Martin
1B: Mark Teixeira
2B: Robinson Cano
3B: Alex Rodriguez
SS: Derek Jeter
LF: Brett Gardner
CF: Curtis Granderson
RF: Nick Swisher
DH: Jorge Posada

The lineup is fine. Some point to Posada’s poor splits as a DH, but I think he’ll improve without the grind of catching.

C: Francisco Cervelli
IF: Ramiro Pena
IF: Eduardo Nunez
OF: Greg Golson

The bench has literally no power, but it has two solid defenders in Pena and Golson. Cervelli is good when he’s not in the starting role, so he could improve as a strictly bench player.

This team is a little…scary. The lineup is easily the best thing about it and the starting rotation is vaguely top heavy. The bullpen is…well, we won’t go there. It gets a little stronger if we knock Nova and/or Mitre into the bullpen by adding another starter, which could definitely happen.

Still, I think this team could slug its way to about 90 wins. There are, however, improvements that need to be made.

About Matt Imbrogno

A native and resident of the Mean Streets of Southwestern Connecticut, Matt is a narcissistic, misanthropic 20something English teacher who lives by a simple creed: Yankees Only.

13 thoughts on “Making a Team from the Current 40-Man Roster

  1. Hughes will not get the run support he got last year… his numbers will rise. A.J. is a career .500 pitcher. This team has gone backwards. No division title and maybe no wild card.

    • It’s the exact same team from last season if Pettitte comes back. If not, they’ll need to add an arm. And Hughes is still very young. You’d expect him to get better, not worse.

    • Lets take a step back from the cliff shall we. The lineup has been upgraded simply by having martin play over cervelli and posada DH over johnson and the other fill ins. Jeter will bounce back, maybe not to career norms but better than last year, same with A-Rod and Teixeira. This team will take the wildcard easily with or without Pettitte.

  2. I can’t find too much fault with your selections but I’m not sure its much of a worthwhile exercise.

    While I don’t expect a monster move, I would be shocked if they started the season with no bench bat better than Golson/Nunez and w/o at least another semi proven bullpen arm. I don’t really see Nova & Mitre both in the rotation without an injury. Brackman has only had one healthy year and needs some AAA seasoning. I don’t see him as a realistic option. I know Phelps isn’t on the 40 man but he probably has a better shot at making the rotation than Brackman. There are still a couple of open 40 man spots. I think the rotation will be strengthened either by:

    A. Pettitte resigning (and I know he’s leaning retirement)
    B. A flyer on a backend free agent pitcher (Francis?, Garcia?) or more likely a trade
    C. Converting Joba back to starter and let him compete for one of the two spots with one of the two being his to lose and sign or acquire a top tier setup man to take Joba’s bp innings

  3. I’d feel much better about this group if Joba was headed back to the rotation, but Brian Cashman has for all intents and purposes shut that door completely.

      • SP:
        1. CC Sabathia
        2. Phil Hughes
        3. A.J. Burnett
        4. Ivan Nova
        5. Sergio Mitre JOBBER

        (hides under desk)

    • Plan A is never going to Joba back to the rotation but regardless of what Cashman has publicly said, I’d be surprised if there aren’t internal discussions about it with the Killer B’s not ready, two openings and no obvious great fit available either through trade or free agency.

      Maybe I’m nuts, but if Pettitte retires, I almost expect them to convert Joba. I have nothing really to base this on but my own guess is that they didn’t lose complete faith in Joba as a starter but were more uncomfortable with having both him and Hughes in the rotation last year and they had more faith in Hughes. The denials now to me are about Joba isn’t plan A and the constant debate on his role does no good for anyone, especially Joba. Why would you expect to hear anything different than the company line that Joba is a reliever until they decide to convert him back? That’s not saying they will but I just don’t think anything is written in stone with two openings to fill.

  4. I think we might be better off with David Phelps taking Romulo Sanchez’s place, either in the bullpen or as the fifth starter that moves Mitre back into the pen. Granted, he’s not on the 40-Man at the moment, but it really shouldn’t be that hard to make some room.

  5. What’s so bad about the bullpen? We’ve got a good closer (Mo), a good setup man (Joba), a good 7th inning guy (Robertson), and a good lefty (Feleciano). Even Boone Logan is solid. The farm system is also stacked with guys like Brackman and Banuelos who could give the bullpen a shot in the arm down the stretch. This is not a weakness.

  6. I like the idea but frankly your team misses badly. Why did you suggest 13 pitchers and then go with 12? Why even put Cervelli on the team when Posada could be the backup catcher and dh the rest of the time? I think if the Yankees were going to do this then they would need to go with the youngsters with the highest upside.

    Betances/Brackman in a piggyback to keep their innings in check.

    Pope/Mitre only one makes the team


    If you go with 13 pitchers the you can only have a 3 man bench plus Posada.

    Colin Curtis
    Brandon Laird
    Eduardo Nunez