Opening Day is quickly approaching for the New York Yankees, which means the club’s roster is close to being finalized. It is inevitable that not every player in Spring Training will make the cut, but surprisingly Tyler Wade was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. This spring, Wade made a strong showing for himself with 50 plate appearances, a .320 batting average, one home run and three steals. The 24-year-old played in the outfield to try to secure a spot in the big league, but Sunday he was cut.
On Saturday, the Yankees acquired Mike Tauchman from the Colorado Rockies, and it appears that he will take Wade’s roster spot. Tauchman has experience playing all three outfield positions which makes him more versatile than Wade. Like Wade, the 28-year-old does not have much experience in the majors, but Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone believes he is the best option. Tauchman’s performance in Spring Training has been underwhelming after hitting .196 with 13 strikeouts and nine walks.
The Yankees became concerned with their outfielder depth after Aaron Hicks suffered a back injury early in Spring Training. Hicks’ expected return date was April 1, but Boone believes that it is too soon. The MLB season is long, and it is smart for New York to play it safe and let Hicks fully heal before he takes the field. While he is recovering, it is likely that the club will opt with Giancarlo Stanton, Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge in the outfield.
Although there are several players out with injuries, the Yankees have a lot of potential this upcoming season. With the combination of newly acquired Gio Gonzalez as a pitching option and the batting power of Stanton and Judge, the Yankees can make their mark in the AL East.
In the second consecutive season, the Yankees fell just shy of making an appearance in the World Series. The acquisitions made in the offseason will hopefully be the edge that New York needs to reach new heights. The trick to securing a World Championship is not only to obtain excellent talent but also keeping the players healthy. Injuries were a concern for the ballclub last season, so it will be interesting to see if the Yankees will take greater precautions this time around.
The Yankees have a few more days to make final changes to their roster. Although Wade got cut for Opening Day, it is very likely he will make an appearance in the majors as the season progresses. Be sure to tune in for the Yankees home opener Thursday, March 28 at 1:05 p.m. against the Baltimore Orioles.