Yankees manager Joe Girardi finally announced what many were hoping for, that Yangervis Solarte will be the 25-man on the Yankees Opening Day roster this year. Eduardo Nunez was optioned to Triple-A Scranton to start the season.
Solarte is not on the Yankees' 40-man roster, which is currently full, so someone will either have to be traded or designated for assignment to make room for Solarte.
There are a few options that come to mind when thinking about who the Yankees could bounce off the 40-man roster. Nunez, obviously, could be one. They could always pull of a trade for Ichiro. You would also have to think that if Nunez isn't an option, Preston Claiborne, who had a bad spring showing, could be the top choice to be DFA'd.
Solarte was the hottest hitter in Yankees camp this spring, and easily outplayed Nunez, hitting .429 with 9 RBIs and two homeruns in 24 games. Solarte has not made his major league debut yet -- just like Dean Anna -- so this is pretty big news for the 26-year-old career minor leaguer.
This is also big news for the people that don't want to see Nunez in the Bronx anymore after fumbling away chance after chance because of bad play.
Solarte makes more sense for the Yankees in a few ways over Nunez. 1) He's a switch hitter, adding more versatility to a Yankees lineup that also features switch-hitters like Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran and Brian Roberts. 2) He has more experience playing second and third base, where Nunez has played mostly shortstop throughout his career.
Girardi actually sited the latter as a reason for choosing Solarte.
And with this announcement, the Yankees' 25-man roster for Opening Day is set:
- Catchers: Brian McCann, Francisco Cervelli
- Infielders: Mark Teixeira, Brian Roberts, Derek Jeter, Kelley Johnson, Dean Anna, Yangervis Solarte
- Outfielders: Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Ichiro Suzuki, Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Beltran
- Starters: CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Masahiro Tanaka, Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda
- Relievers: David Robertson, Shawn Kelley, Matt Thornton, David Phelps, Adam Warren, Dellin Betances, Vidal Nuno