Quick Hit: Updated 2016 Opening Day Roster

It's been almost 2 months since I did this exercise and there's been a couple major changes since then, so let's see where the projected 2016 Opening Day roster stands as of this morning, shall we? Starting Lineup:

1) Jacoby Ellsbury- CF 2) Brett Gardner- LF 3) Carlos Beltran- RF 4) Mark Teixeira- 1B 5) Alex Rodriguez- DH 6) Brian McCann- C 7) Chase Headley- 3B 8) Starlin Castro- 2B 9) Didi Gregorius- SS

Starting Rotation:

1) Masahiro Tanaka 2) Michael Pineda 3) Luis Severino 4) Nathan Eovaldi 5) CC Sabathia

Bench: Gary Sanchez, Dustin Ackley, Aaron Hicks, Greg Bird

Bullpen: Andrew Miller, Dellin Betances, Chasen Shreve, Bryan Mitchell, Ivan Nova, Nick Goody, Jacob Lindgren

I took the liberty of putting the lineup in what I expect would be the Opening Day batting order and I also gave CC Sabathia the 5th spot in the rotation.  If the competition were between he, Nova, and Mitchell right now, I think he'd win that in a walk.

As far as how this 25-man group has progressed from October's version, there's some good and some bad.  The lineup is better with the addition of Castro.  It's deeper, it's more balanced, it's better defensively, and there's the trickle down effect of added depth and flexibility to the bench now.  With Castro in the starting second base role, Ackley gets shifted back to his super sub role on the bench.  That and the 3-way outfield coverage of Hicks gives the Yankees the freedom to add another bat to the bench, and I think that's what they would do with Greg Bird if they had to build the roster now.  He's a dangerous pinch hitting threat and a more than capable backup for Teix should he need extra days off (and he will).

The pitching portion of the roster has taken a bit of a hit.  The trades involving Adam Warren and Justin Wilson have left some sizable holes in the middle relief depth, but the cupboard is not completely barren.  Shreve was lights out for the first 2/3 of last season.  There must be a way to fix him and make him effective again.  And if you had to name the 2 best relief prospects in the system, you'd probably say Lindgren and Goody in that order.  There's a greater-than-zero chance that those 2, provided they're fully healthy, could replicate what Warren and Wilson did in 2015.

Even with all that optimism, there's a clear need for the Yankees to add more talent and depth to their bullpen and their rotation.  Cash has said he's not done and that he's still looking to add more pitching, so we'll have to wait for the next move to see how this current roster changes.