Biggest Surprises from New York Yankees 25-Man Roster for Opening Day 2012

Mike Moraitis@@michaelmoraitisAnalyst IApril 4, 2012

TAMPA, FL - APRIL 4:  Pitcher Clay Rapada #39 of the New York Yankees throws in relief against the New York Mets in a spring training game April 4, 2012  at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

The New York Yankees finally announced their 25-man roster for Opening Day 2012, and while there were plenty of certainties on it, injury problems have created some surprises sprinkled in.

Some of these players will be key as role players to help the Yankees reach the ultimate goal of World Series No. 28.

Here are the most unexpected players on the Bombers' 2012 roster.

Chris Stewart-C

In a late move right before the season, GM Brian Cashman decided to help his depth at the catcher position after Austin Romine's back injury left New York short at the position from Triple-A to the big leagues.

As a result, the Yanks traded George Kontos to the San Francisco Giants for Chris Stewart.

The move brought in a catcher who threw out 35 percent of base runners who tested his arm in 2011. But the problem is, he doesn't have any options left.

Therefore, in order to make room, past backup Francisco Cervelli had to be optioned to Triple-A where he will start the season simply because he had options left.

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MARCH 01:  Chris Stewart #37 of the San Francisco Giants poses during spring training photo day on March 1, 2012 in Scottsdale, Arizona.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

A tough blow for a likable Yankee, but not that significant in the grand scheme of things. The Bombers can still bring up Cervelli if need be and New York isn't critically short systemically at catcher.

Clay Rapada-LHP

Despite Boone Logan's status for Opening Day being up in the air, it was figured Clay Rapada would make the team out of spring training anyway.

Rapada was released by the Baltimore Orioles, and the Yanks decided to give him a shot after Hideki Okajima failed his physical.

He made the most of his invitation to spring training and after dominating in 10 innings while pitching to a 0.90 ERA in the process, this choice would have been easy even if Logan was healthy.

David Phelps-RHP

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 27:  David Phelps of the New York Yankees poses for a portrait during the New York Yankees Photo Day on February 27, 2012 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

David Phelps figures to give the Bombers depth out of their bullpen in 2012.

Along with Adam Warren, Phelps has been long hailed as one of the Yanks' safety options in the young-arms' department should injuries or an all-out disaster strike.

In 17.1 innings pitched, Phelps allowed 16 hits but did keep his ERA down to 2.08. Seems to me this guy is good at pitching with runners on and that could help him out of the bullpen.

Freddy Garcia-RHP

Considering the Yankees were trying to trade Freddy Garcia during spring training, it is a bit of a surprise he's on the 25-man roster.

Many thought, myself included, that Garcia would be gone and Michael Pineda would be the fifth and final starter in the Bombers' rotation.

But the Yankees over-indulgence for pitching this offseason paid off and once again made Cash look darn good.

Garcia will be solid for five to six inning starts and might even go deep in games on occasion. One thing about Freddy: he always keeps his team in games.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.