Yankees Triple-A affiliate Scranton/Wilkes-Barre announced their finalized roster ahead of their regular season opener Saturday.
The RailRiders will carry eight players who are on the 40-man roster including Rob Refsnyder, Ben Heller and Luis Cessa, who we saw with the Yankees last season. Dietrich Enns, Giovanny Gallegos and Johnny Barbato are other pitchers listed on the 40-man roster. Barbato will open the season for the RailRiders on the mound Saturday and be followed by Enns, who will pitch game one of the team’s double-header Sunday. The second pitcher is still to be announced. Cessa will pitch their home opener Monday.
Veterans Ernesto Frieri and J.R. Graham, along with prospects Brady Lail and Joe Mantiply, will man the bullpen. The rest of the pitchers include Jason Gurka, Tyler Jones and Tyler Webb. Branden Pinder and Nick Rumbelow, both of whom have seen Major League action, will begin the season on the 7-day disabled list.
Kyle Higashioka and Eddy Rodriguez will man the backstop with Higashioka getting the majority of the reps. Higashioka, who is on the 40-man roster, is a prime candidate for a call-up in case of injuries to the Major League roster.
The starting infield will feature Refsnyder taking the majority of reps at third base. The team announced he will play a little first base, second base, and outfield, seeing as how the Yankees are looking for versatility from the utility man.
Tyler Wade figures to get the majority of games at shortstop with Ruben Tejada, Donovan Solano and Cito Culver also playing up the middle. Ji-Man Choi looks primed to be the every day first baseman with Refsynder, as previously mentioned, seeing time as well.
Dustin Fowler, Clint Frazier and Mason Williams provide the RailRiders versatility in the outfield. Each can essentially play all three outfield positions. Mark Payton is also on the roster while Jake Cave will begin the season on the 7-day DL.
The RailRiders are the defending Triple-A Champions and figure to be one of the best teams in the minor leagues. There is plenty of depth in the Yankee organization. Expect some of the RailRider players, including Refsnyder and Cessa, to see time in the big leagues while someone like Gleyber Torres to possibly make his way to Triple-A.