As per the roster rules for the 2020 season, all Major League clubs must trim their active roster to 28 players by Thursday’s deadline. Teams will be allowed to carry 28 players for the remainder of the season, but will be provided with an extra roster space on doubleheader days.
On Thursday morning, the Yankees announced that they have optioned three players to their alternate site. The Yankees current roster sits at 27 players.
Following last night’s game, the Yankees optioned INF/OF Miguel Andújar, INF Thairo Estrada and RHP Nick Nelson to the Alternate Site.
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) August 6, 2020
The biggest surprise here has to be Andujar, who is simply a man without a full-time position. With the emergence of Gio Urshela at third base, along with a crowded outfield, there currently isn’t everyday opportunities for the now 25-year-old.
In five games this season, Andujar picked up just one hit over 14 plate appearances. This decision probably wasn’t an easy one for the Yankees, but with his struggles (both offensively and defensively) it makes sense for them to let him work on his overall game at the Alternate Site.
After an impressive summer camp period, Estrada earned his way onto the team’s Opening Day roster. However, there weren’t many opportunities for the 24-year-old, as he appeared in just two games for the Bronx Bombers.
Nelson was called up to the big league squad to help provide depth in the bullpen. In his Major League debut on August 1, the 24-year-old was brilliant. Nelson threw three no-hit innings and picked up his first big league victory against the Boston Red Sox.
Although his first appearance was great, his second appearance was not as good.
During Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Phillies, Nelson was roughed up, allowing six runs on seven hits over 1 2/3 innings of work. After the rough outing, along with a high pitch count, it makes sense that Nelson was optioned, as he would not have been a factor in the Yankees bullpen for the next few days anyways.
With the roster currently sitting at 27 players, it will be interesting to see how the final spot is filled. The spot could be saved for Aroldis Chapman, who may be ready to return in the near future. If they are looking to fill the spot until Chapman’s return, maybe another bullpen arm will get the call to provide some much-needed depth over the next few days.
Another possibility could be Clarke Schmidt. It doesn’t appear that the Yankees are ready to make a rotation switch at this point, but with James Paxton and J.A. Happ’s struggles, it could be only a matter of time until the young right-hander gets his opportunity in the Bronx.
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