Joe Girardi’s first opening day roster as Manager of the New York Yankees is now official. The remaining spots were filled by:
– Wilson Betemit – Back-up infielder, at all infield positions.
– Morgan Ensberg – (1B/OF/PH ) I think Ensberg made the team more so because he could have opted-out of his contract if he was not on the Yankees 40-man roster, and maybe would not have gone to (AAA) if he wasn’t included on the Yankees 25-man Major League roster. There was also trade talk regarding Ensberg, as the Tampa Rays have an interest in Morgan Ensberg to play third base for them, Ensberg’s natural position. In my view, Ensberg and Shelley Duncan are the same type of players; so, this is the one move I would have to say I do not agree with. Brett Gardner makes more sense to me because of his great speed, and excellent defensive skills in the outfield. But, I do understand that Gardner needs to play everyday, and he will get the chance to impress the Yankee organization at (AAA) SWB. If the Yankees have some injuries, Brett Gardner will surely be one of the first players to be called-up from the minors.
– Billy Traber- the only lefthanded pitcher out of the bullpen.
– Ross Ohlendorf – the long-reliever, and hopefully at some point, [when Joba is included in the starting rotation], can be the replacement for Joba Chamberlain as the 8th inning bridge to Mariano Rivera.
– Brian Bruney – 5th and 6th inning pitcher (until Andy Pettitte returns from the DL?)
– Johathan Albaladejo – 5th and 6th inning pitcher ( along with Bruney, will also show-case himself this first week of the season, as I think one of these two pitchers will be sent to [AAA – SWB] when Andy Pettitte is ready to pitch). Pettitte is scheduled to start Saturday’s game vs. the Rays. So, we will see what the week brings for Bruney and Albaladejo !!!
At the writing of this POST, there were only about 14 hours until the first pitch in the Yankees home opener vs. the Blue Jays. I can’t wait to see the Yankees take the field for the first time this year. It will be the start of the Yankees journey to their 27th World Championship in 2008 !!! This will be an historic year in New York as the Yankees play in the old Yankee Stadium for the final time. “The Stadium” will host a Mass by Pope Benedict XVI, on Sunday April 20th; Baseball’s “All-Star” game in July; and, hopefully, another New York Yankees World Series victory, in October !!! All the “greatness of this season” begins tomorrow (Monday, March 31th, 1:00 p.m.) !!!