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Yankees reassign several players to minor league camp

With opening day right around the corner, the Yankees are making the final adjustments to their major league roster. Prior to Friday’s game against the Phillies, six players were informed that their big league spring was over, and that they were headed to minor league camp.

Perhaps the most noteworthy transaction has shed some light on the current pitching situation. Luis Cessa was optioned to AAA Scranton-Wilkes/Barre, thus taking him out of the running for a spot in the Yankees rotation. The 24-year-old struggled this spring, posting a 6.52 ERA over a span of 9.2 innings. The emergence of young lefty Jordan Montgomery certainly didn’t help Cessa’s chances of staying with the big league club either. Montgomery, Luis Severino, Chad Green, Bryan Mitchell, and Adam Warren are the remaining options to fill the two available starting pitching spots. Cessa will attempt to find his form in the minors and hopefully return to the Bronx in 2017.

Other players demoted to minor league camp today include: infielder Ji-Man Choi, LHP Jason Gurka, and outfielders Dustin Fowler, Clint Frazier, and Billy McKinney. Choi hit an underwhelming .200 in the spring and should provide depth at first base as well as the outfield in AAA. 29-year-old Gurka struck out seven batters in six innings of work this spring, while pitching to a 3.00 ERA.

Fowler has led the Yanks this spring in triples (2), and stolen bases (5). Frazier enjoyed a successful pre-season, batting .308 with one home run and eight RBIs. The Yankee’s No. 2 prospect will also start the year with the RailRiders, with eyes on a major league spot as soon as this year. McKinney took advantage of a spring training he wasn’t even supposed to have this year. The 22-year-old outfielder was a late invitee to Tampa as a result of the foot injury to Tyler Austin. McKinney hit an impressive .417 with three homers this spring, while opening many eyes of the Yankee’s front office and around the league.

The flurry of roster moves leaves the Yankees with 39 players in major league camp. This still includes Tyler Austin and Didi Gregorius, both of which are injured and won’t be ready for the start of the season.