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New York Yankees Roster Taking Shape

As the season approaches, the Yankees roster is taking shape. As the days go by it becomes more clear on who will join the team come opening day.

The regular season is just a few weeks away and the Yankees roster is beginning to take shape. A few of the position battles are starting to clear up as players are released and sent to the minors.

The Yankees lost to the Phillies today as Phil Hughes gave up a game ending home run in the bottom of the ninth. The home run was one of three given up by Hughes today. Despite the long balls, Hughes pitched very well today as he forced batters to swing and miss using his changeup. Hughes appears to be the front runner for the 5th starter role in the Yankees starting rotation, although its not decided just yet. Joba Chamberlain and Sergio Mitre still have a chance to grab the job as I expect Alfredo Aceves to join Chad Gaudin in the Yankees bullpen unless Gaudin is released or traded. I still believe its Hughes that will have the starter spot.

While the 5th starter competition is not complete just yet, the Yankees made a few other moves that have cleared up the other position battles. Rule 5 draft pick Jamie Hoffmann has been returned to the Dodgers. Hoffman was competing for the role of 5th outfielder. While Hoffmann has the tools, the numbers just did not translate as he was only hitting .130 in 23 at bats this spring.  By rule, the Yankees had to offer Hoffmann back to the Dodgers if he was not on the 25 man roster the entire season. Rumor has it that the Yankees may attempt to get Hoffmann back via trade. Marcus Thames now appears to have an inside track to the 5th outfielder spot, despite hitting just .107 in 28 at bats this spring. Thames could provide the Yankees with a right handed hitting power threat off the bench.

The team also reassigned a few players to minor league camp. Reegie Corona, Eduardo Nunez, Jorge Vazquez, and Brandon Laird had been competing for the backup infielder spot on the Yankees roster. The Yankees now have three non-starting infielders still in camp, Ramiro Pena, Juan Miranda, and Kevin Russo. One of the three will likely make the trip north with the team when the regular season begins. Miranda would only be used as a first baseman and designated hitter. The Yankees already have a player like that in Nick Johnson. Pena and Russo are both utility infielders. Pena has experience playing with the Yankees last season but Russo has been playing very well this spring and the Yankees have thought highly of him for a few years now. This battle will likely go down to the wire.

Some time within the next week or so we will find out who makes the Yankees roster including the position battles I just mentioned. Some bullpen spots are also up for grabs.

Only another two weeks until the season gets started with the Yankees heading to Boston for a show down with the Red Sox.

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