Diving into the depths: New York Yankees

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This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training.
New York Yankees
Rotation
1. CC Sabathia
2. A.J. Burnett
3. Andy Pettitte
4. Javier Vazquez
5. Joba Chamberlain
6. Phil Hughes
7. Chad Gaudin
8. Sergio Mitre
9. Chan Ho Park
10. Alfredo Aceves
11. Zach McAllister
12. Kei Igawa
13. Dustin Moseley
14. Jason Hirsh
15. George Kontos
16. Ivan Nova
I think I’d rather see Hughes in the rotation if there’s only room for one, but Chamberlain appears to have the edge for the fifth spot at the start of camp. The loser in the competition will likely function as the team’s eighth-inning guy. The Yankees don’t intend to send either back to Triple-A to work as a starter.
Bullpen
1. Mariano Rivera
2. Phil Hughes/Joba Chamberlain
3. Damaso Marte
4. Chan Ho Park
5. David Robertson
6. Alfredo Aceves
7. Chad Gaudin
8. Edwar Ramirez
9. Boone Logan
10. Sergio Mitre
11. Jonathan Albaladejo
12. Mark Melancon
13. Dustin Moseley
14. Romulo Sanchez
15. Royce Ring
16. Kei Igawa
17. Kevin Whelan
18. Jason Hirsh
19. Christian Garcia
20. Zack Segovia
21. Wilkin De La Rosa
Park’s addition means another very qualified reliever is going to be left out on Opening Day. Gaudin is due $2.95 million this year, a salary that would seem to make him a lock. However, his contract isn’t guaranteed. Same goes for Mitre. Either could be cut or traded at the end of the spring.


Catcher
1. Jorge Posada
2. Francisco Cervelli
3. Mike Rivera
First base
1. Mark Teixeira
2. Nick Johnson
3. Juan Miranda
Second base
1. Robinson Cano
2. Ramiro Pena
3. Kevin Russo
4. Reegie Corona
Third base
1. Alex Rodriguez
2. Ramiro Pena
3. Kevin Russo
Shortstop
1. Derek Jeter
2. Ramiro Pena
3. Eduardo Nunez
Pena is currently set to occupy a utility role, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Yankees trade a reliever for a veteran backup late in the spring. Pena offers a lot defensively, but he’s far from an ideal option to play regularly in the event of an injury.
Left field
1. Brett Gardner
2. Randy Winn
3. Marcus Thames
4. Jamie Hoffmann
5. Reid Gorecki
Center field
1. Curtis Granderson
2. Brett Gardner
3. Randy Winn
4. Greg Golson
5. Reid Gorecki
Right field
1. Nick Swisher
2. Randy Winn
3. Marcus Thames
4. Jamie Hoffmann
5. David Winfree
Designated hitter
1. Nick Johnson
2. Marcus Thames
3. Jorge Posada
4. Alex Rodriguez
5. Nick Swisher
Hoffman, the first overall pick in the Rule 5 draft, seems like a big long shot to make the team now with Winn and Thames in camp. Thames makes plenty of sense as a left fielder and DH against lefties, though Winn still could end up as Gardner’s platoon partner. I imagine that manager Joe Girardi will just ride the hot hand between the three of them.

A.J. Hinch: “If it was any other time of the year, [José Altuve] wouldn’t be in the lineup.”

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It has been evident throughout the playoffs that Astros second baseman José Altuve’s right knee is bothering him. Altuve battled a right knee issue in July, then banged it up again in Game 2 of the ALDS and it’s been a problem ever since.

Manager A.J. Hinch said that if it were the regular season, he wouldn’t put Altuve in the lineup. Per MLB.com’s Richard Justice, the full quote:

He’s hurt. And if it was any other time of the year, he wouldn’t be in the lineup or wouldn’t be playing. He’d probably be on the DL. … But he’s showing up every day in good spirits, ready to go, giving 100 percent of what he’s got. He should be commended.

Hinch also said of Altuve, “His teammates revere him. The production that he’s doing on one leg is pretty incredible. And he’s trying not to talk about it. And therefore I am.”

During the ALCS, Altuve has hit .250/.368/.313 in 16 at-bats. He has just one extra-base hit but he has racked up three singles and drawn three walks while scoring four runs. Hinch has had Marwin González start at second base Games 3 and 4 and is doing so again on Thursday night in Game 5.