Expecting some decisions today

The tarp is on the field and there are thunderstorms in the forecast here in Tampa, but nothing that happens in tonight’s game between the Yankees and Rays – barring injuries – should do much to impact the Opening Day roster.

Joe Girardi and his staff seem to have their decisions figured out, and there is expected to be an announcement of some sort this afternoon to put the final pieces in place.

We know that Eric Chavez and Andruw Jones are going north with the club, as has been anticipated since the very beginning, and the Yankees cleared up their rotation picture last week by naming Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia to the rotation while putting Bartolo Colon in the bullpen.

So what’s left?

  • It looks like lefty Pedro Feliciano will start the year on the disabled list, and Girardi strongly hinted yesterday that they’re thinking about carrying lefty Steve Garrison as a short-term replacement. Having Boone Logan also in the bullpen softens the blow of losing Feliciano, who was effectively going to replace Damaso Marte.
  • We’ve been figuring that Gustavo Molina will make the team over Jesus Montero and Austin Romine as the backup catcher, since Montero essentially had the job handed to him and couldn’t clinch it. The Yankees simply thought Montero began pressing and it affected his defense, which is really what they care about in that role, more than offense. Molina has some big league experience and essentially provides what Chad Moeller would have, if he was still around. In any event, no one has displaced Francisco Cervelli, so he should get a fair shake when his fractured left foot heals.
  • The Yankees will carry a utility infielder to complement Chavez as the backup corner infielder, and right now it looks like Eduardo Nunez has a slight edge over Ramiro Pena. Nunez spent seven weeks working out in the Dominican Republic with Robinson Cano and Cervelli – “Camp Cano,” as Joe Girardi called it – and has been stinging the ball at times this spring. He’s also been adapting into a serviceable backup in left field, though with Jones on the roster there’s limited need for him there.
  • It looks like Curtis Granderson could spend at least the first few days of the season on the disabled list (if he’s DL’ed retroactively, he can come off on April 6). His strained oblique is part of the reason the Yankees traded for left-handed hitting Chris Dickerson, who suffered a left hamstring injury in his first game on Saturday. They seem to think Dickerson’s injury is minor, so he still may be on the roster to begin the year. If not, they have Greg Golson and Justin Maxwell in camp, but they’re right-handed bats and would fall behind Jones on the depth chart. Of course, they could always just not DL Granderson and then possibly have him ready around April 3 or 4.

If and when there is an announcement, I’ll have it posted quickly on my  Twitter account (@bryanhoch).

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