The Yankees, winners of 15 of their last 16 games, are coming off a stretch of playing eighteen straight days in three different time zones. The grind has rolled right off their backs thanks to the depth of the team. And in case more replacements are needed, not to worry. They’re playing today at Triple-A and Double-A.
The last of the “big names” waiting in the minors to be called up by the Yankees are here. Without missing a beat, Gleyber Torres has stepped in as the regular second baseman for the team and hitting, as predicted, over .300. Note: Torres just hit a three-run walk-off home run sending the Yankees to a sweep of the Indians. Wow!
Torres joins his counterpart at third base, Miguel Andujar, and Tyler Austin at first base, in replacing Greg Bird and Brandon Drury who have the luxury of not rushing through their rehab.
The Yankees are now reaching into the second tier of unparalleled (in team history) depth to replace Jordan Montgomery (out until mid-June) with Domingo German (pronounced er-man), who is making his first start after five relief appearances today against the Cleveland Indians. Footnote: German turned in six innings of no-hit ball today, leaving the game in a scoreless tie. The Yankees went on to win 7-4 in the bottom of the ninth on a home run by Gleber Torres. Double Wow!
It’s easy to overlook just how strong this Yankees team is, so here’s a look at their Depth Chart as assembled by MLB.com.
Does anyone recall or even care that Jacoby Ellsbury is on the 60-day DL with no scheduled return to action? As with most teams, the only position the Yankees are hurting in as far as replacements are in the catching position, where if either (or God forbid both) Gary Sanchez and Austin Romine go down, only light-hitting Kyle Higashioka and 37-year old Erik Kratz are options at Triple-A Scranton.
Not to put a hex on anything or anyone, it is unlikely that between CC Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray, and Luis Severino, there will not be an injury that pulls at least one out of action over the next 135 games.
The Yankees have that covered though as well. Justus Sheffield has been promoted from Double-A Trenton to the Railriders in Scranton, where he will receive some fine-tuning, and hopefully a continuance of superb pitching (2.25 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 28 innings) as a starter. Much like Severino two years ago, Sheffield is still battling command issues, and the fourteen walks he has given up are a cause for concern.
It is the Yankee’s good fortune the team is playing so well because as a whole, the Scranton Railriders have gotten off to a rough start to their season with players usually expected to produce experiencing a funk. Tyle Wade (.196 0 HR 2RBI), Mike Ford (.232, 2HR, 10 RBI), and Thairo Estrada (3 for 25) all need to step it up in case their name is called.
Ditto Chance Adams, the mystery man in the Yankees farm system. Adams, in six starts, is 0-2 with a 4.70 ERA and a team-leading 13 walks. An exception is Clint Frazier, who is hitting .316, and is major-league ready anytime the Yankees need him.
The Yankees 25-man roster is so strong there is zero chance, other than relief pitchers who are always juggled around, the team will need to replace anyone for reasons other than injury. The rewards from the efforts by Brian Cashman, together with the patience of Yankees fans are now the just desserts for the team.
The Red Sox come in on Tuesday, and Yankee Stadium will be jumping as the Yankees are locked and loaded sending Severino, Tanaka, and Sabathia to make the starts. For the first time this season, the Red Sox are faced with losing their hold on first place. Ya gotta admit it doesn’t get any better than this.