The rotation picture is slowly coming into focus for the Yankees, who still haven’t made clear who’ll round out their staff. As George A. King III of the New York Post reports, though, the organization has decided that Adam Warren will open the year in the bullpen while Luis Cessa will start out in the minors. That leaves four remaining possibilities for the final two rotation jobs: Luis Severino, Bryan Mitchell, Chad Green, and Jordan Montgomery. While Montgomery has produced intriguing numbers in the upper minors last year as well as during camp this spring, he’s considered a “long shot,” per the report.
Here’s more news out of the AL East:
- There’s some positive news for Rays shortstop Matt Duffy, who received a clean MRI on his still-ailing heel, Topkin tweets. But there’s still no timeline for his return with camp about to break. Given the delayed healing thus far, it seems likely the club will exercise plenty of caution. Meanwhile, the Rays have informed catcher Jesus Sucre that he’ll be on the active roster, as Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports on Twitter. He’ll function as the backup to the just-acquired Derek Norris, with Luke Maile and Curt Casali heading to Triple-A for depth.
- While the focus has been on the pitching staff, it appears the Red Sox will be dealing with a few tough roster questions on the position-player side to open the year. Infielder Josh Rutledge is likely to start the year on the DL with a hamstring issue, skipper John Farrell told reporters including Tim Britton of the Providence Journal (Twitter links). What’s of added intrigue here is the fact that first baseman Mitch Moreland has been sent home with the flu, while Hanley Ramirez appears likely to be limited to DH duties. It seemed Rutledge had been slated to back up Moreland at the position; now, the club may be forced to press someone else into duty — Marco Hernandez and Steve Selsky were suggested as possibilities to take Rutledge’s roster spot — at least in a reserve function. Of course, it’s worth bearing in mind that this is likely only a short-term issue.
- As for the Red Sox’ pitching, there are a few minor updates worth noting. Righty Carson Smith is backing down a bit on his Tommy John rehab after experiencing tightness following his first pen session, Britton reports. It’s considered more a typical part of the process than any kind of setback. Starter David Price, meanwhile, is continuing a long-toss program (two days on, one day off) for the time being, Britton tweets. It’s not clear just when or how the team will decide to ramp things up for the lefty.