Boxed In: The New York Yankees 40-Man Roster Problems

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Boxed In: The New York Yankees 40-Man Roster Problems
(Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

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:

  40-Man Roster
  Pitchers B/T Ht Wt DOB  
  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
  Catchers B/T Ht Wt DOB  
  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

  Infielders B/T Ht Wt DOB  
  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  
  Outfielders B/T Ht Wt DOB  
  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  
  Designated Hitters B/T Ht Wt DOB  
  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,

<http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/team/roster_40man.jsp?c_id=nyy>

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.

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