With the Yankees struggling at 13-14, changes are badly needed on the team. Unfortunately, due to roster construction, some of these changes may not be possible.
Here's the current 40-Man roster for the Yankees, for your viewing:
|91 Alfredo Aceves||R/R||6-3||220||12/08/82|
|63 Jonathan Albaladejo||R/R||6-5||260||10/30/82|
|* 64 Andrew Brackman||R/R||6-10||240||12/04/85|
|* 38 Brian Bruney||R/R||6-3||235||02/17/82||15-day Disabled List|
|34 A.J. Burnett||R/R||6-4||230||01/03/77|
|62 Joba Chamberlain||R/R||6-2||230||09/23/85|
|* 29 Anthony Claggett||S/R||6-3||195||07/15/84|
|48 Phil Coke||L/L||6-1||210||07/19/82|
|* 68 Wilkin De La Rosa||L/L||6-0||185||02/21/85|
|* 85 Michael Dunn||L/L||6-1||195||05/23/85|
|* 70 Christian Garcia||R/R||6-5||215||08/24/85|
|* 71 Eric Hacker||S/R||6-1||210||03/26/83|
|65 Phil Hughes||R/R||6-5||240||06/24/86|
|* 17 Steven Jackson||R/R||6-5||215||03/15/82|
|* 31 Ian Kennedy||R/R||6-0||195||12/19/84|
|* 43 Damaso Marte||L/L||6-2||215||02/14/75||15-day Disabled List|
|39 Mark Melancon||R/R||6-2||215||03/28/85|
|46 Andy Pettitte||L/L||6-5||225||06/15/72|
|36 Edwar Ramirez||R/R||6-3||165||03/28/81|
|42 Mariano Rivera||R/R||6-2||185||11/29/69|
|30 David Robertson||R/R||5-11||190||04/09/85|
|52 CC Sabathia||L/L||6-7||290||07/21/80|
|41 Jose Veras||R/R||6-5||235||10/20/80|
|* 40 Chien-Ming Wang||R/R||6-3||230||03/31/80||15-day Disabled List|
|29 Francisco Cervelli||R/R||6-1||210||03/06/86|
|26 Jose Molina||R/R||6-2||235||06/03/75|
|* 20 Jorge Posada||S/R||6-2||215||08/17/71|
15-day Disabled List
|14 Angel Berroa||R/R||6-0||195||01/27/78|
|24 Robinson Cano||L/R||6-0||205||10/22/82|
|2 Derek Jeter||R/R||6-3||195||06/26/74|
|* -- Juan Miranda||L/L||6-0||220||04/25/83|
|19 Ramiro Pena||S/R||5-11||165||07/18/85|
|** 12 Cody Ransom||R/R||6-2||190||02/17/76||60-day Disabled List|
|* 13 Alex Rodriguez||R/R||6-3||230||07/27/75||15-day Disabled List|
|25 Mark Teixeira||S/R||6-3||220||04/11/80|
|53 Melky Cabrera||S/L||5-11||200||08/11/84|
|18 Johnny Damon||L/L||6-2||205||11/05/73|
|11 Brett Gardner||L/L||5-10||185||08/24/83|
|* 22 Xavier Nady||R/R||6-1||185||11/14/78||15-day Disabled List|
|33 Nick Swisher||S/L||5-11||210||11/25/80|
|55 Hideki Matsui||L/R||6-2||210||06/12/74|
|* Not on Active Roster|
** Not on 40-Man Roster
SOURCE: New York Yankees' MLB site,
If you notice on the roster, it is currently full, mostly because of the Yankees wanting to protect the young arms in their system, as several are either signed to pro contracts (i.e. Andrew Brackman) or were added so they could be protected in the Rule 5 Draft.
When Posada went on the DL, the Yankees could have called up Kevin Cash, Chris Stewart or P.J. Pillitere to back up Jose Molina- if they had roster space.
Due to the team's willingness to keep Edwar Ramirez, Jose Veras, and all of the young, non majorleague-ready arms in AAA and AA, the Yankees ended up calling up Francisco Cervelli, who is hitting only .190 in Trenton(AA), and is a poor defensive catcher, committing five errors in AA.
Cervelli doesn't deserve to be here—but unfortunately, due to his call-up last year in September, plus his young age(23), the Yankees are stuck with having to call him up to avoid losing a young pitcher to waivers, where he would likely be scooped up by a team desperate for pitching depth such as the San Diego Padres, the Seattle Mariners, and others.
A similar situation is occurring in the infield as well. The Yankees are already thin on depth at 3B/SS, even when Alex Rodriguez gets back. An option they could consider is Kevin Russo, recently activated off the DL, hitting .442 with 8 RBIs in AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre.
Unfortunately, with the Yankees 40-man roster situation, along with their willingness to keep underperforming players such as Cody Ransom, Angel Berroa or Juan Miranda on there, it really hurts them, as it makes it impossible to add anyone.
The outfield is the worst mess of all. Many people have wanted John Rodriguez (.322 AVG) to be called up.
Unfortunately, due to the excess of pitchers on the 40-man, they are stuck with an outfield of Damon-Cabrera-Swisher-Gardner, with Gardner being the weakest link, but having to be kept because the Yankees do not want to lose any of their young pitchers.
Another question: Who are these pitchers? The ones who are questionable for the Yankees being contributions for the future include:
Steven Jackson (the Yankees won't trust him. Now he's gone, as he was designated for assignment)
Anthony Claggett (gave up eight runs against Cleveland)
Andrew Brackman (still waiting for him. Struggling in A ball)
Christian Garcia (Tampa Yankees, 24 years old, injured)
Michael Dunn (6.75 ERA in AA, at the age of 24)
Eric Hacker (recently designated for assignment)
With all the troubles with the Yankees 40-man roster, it stands to hurt them in the long run.
UPDATE: Kevin Cash added to 40-Man. Erick Hacker DFA'd.