Yankees Spring Training Report: Full Update of Surprises, Busts and Injuries

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Yankees Spring Training Report: Full Update of Surprises, Busts and Injuries
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Girardi (standing center) peers over his mid-March infantry; he has two weeks until he assembles a 25-man roster for Opening Day

Prior to Sunday, the New York Yankees' prolific offense had begun to give way to a brief slump during spring training action, even leading to the wrong end of a no-hitter by the Miami Marlins. On the other side of the ball, though, the story has continued to center on several strong outings from the pitching staff.

Now, just two weeks of spring training are all that separate the Bombers from Opening Day in Houston, and accordingly, from whittling down the remaining personnel to the 25-man roster.

They headed to Tampa, Fla., needing to answer a few identity questions: The No. 5 starter, Brian McCann's primary backup, the extra utility infielder and the shape of the bullpen.

Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman have been dealt a fairly reasonable sample size through 22 games. But many of the trends thus far have translated into some further, trickier storylines in the process.

Is the best candidate for backup catcher actually much better trade bait to bolster the infield? Will the hottest hitter—and biggest surprise—during camp be shopped around, shipped out or sent down rather than slotted into the roster? And have a few pitchers' successes suddenly exiled David Phelps toward middle relief, or even a trade of his own?

With the sense of urgency only increasing daily at this point of spring, let's break down some of the notable developments as we look ahead toward how the final 12 games, and subsequent decisions, might unfold.

Beginning with the biggest team surprises and busts that have materialized, this spring training report will focus on players' statistics in the context of their expectations coming in. It'll end with a brief injury update, taking note of the progress of current recoveries as well as any recent reports. 

 

2014 spring training statistics and information courtesy of Yankees.MLB.com, and pre-2014 statistics from Baseball-Reference, unless otherwise noted.

Peter F. Richman is a Featured Columnist for the New York Yankees and a lifelong fan. Join him for more discussion on Twitter: 

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