TAMPA — General manager Brian Cashman said the Yankees have just one roster decision left to make before Opening Day on Thursday — and that’s which pitcher will replace Justin Wilson after they officially put the left-hander on the injured list with a tight shoulder.
Cashman said Monday during the Yankees’ spring training finale, a 5-2 loss to the Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field, that Tyler Wade had made the team, as well as right-hander Michael King.
Mike Tauchman, nursing a sore right shin after fouling a ball off on Sunday, will also be on the 26-man roster.
The inclusion of Wade and King weren’t real surprises, despite the fact neither had an especially strong spring.
The Yankees continue to value Wade’s defensive versatility. He can play all four infield positions, as well as the outfield, and is their best option to fill in at shortstop if they are without Gleyber Torres.
King can pitch multiple innings and will join Nick Nelson and Jonathan Loaisiga as other young right-handers in the bullpen.
Cashman and Aaron Boone said there would be discussions in the coming days about the final spot in the pen, with left-hander Lucas Luetge figuring to be a possibility after his strong spring.
Derek Dietrich and Robinson Chirinos both agreed to remain with the organization after being released and will head to the alternate site in Scranton, with Chirinos rehabbing from surgery to repair his fractured right wrist.
Jhoulys Chacin, though, asked to be let out of his contract to look for a job in the majors. He pitched well for much of spring, but there was no room for him thanks to the Yankees’ rotation staying healthy.
Wilson, according to Cashman, “feels good, but has a few more hurdles to clear” before he’s ready to pitch in a game, which is why he’ll open the season on the IL — although that will be backdated, so he shouldn’t be out long.
“Physically, he feels like he can go,” Cashman said. “We’re not gonna have Opening Day dictate having him on the roster.”