Yankees Opening Day Roster Projection: How Much Do Injuries Impact New York?

The latest injury bug leaves a few spots in the Opening Day roster for the Yankees up for grabs nearly a week away from Opening Day

Mar 18, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA;  New York Yankees manger Aaron Boone (17) (left) former manager
Mar 18, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees manger Aaron Boone (17) (left) former manager / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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The Yankees will start the season in a bit of turmoil as Gerrit Cole, Aaron Judge, and DJ Lemahieu deal with injuries that may keep all three out of the Opening Day lineup. The team will kick off its season in Houston on March 28th where we'll get a true look at the new-look Yankees. The Yankees are seemingly set for Opening Day except for a spot for one position player and a few pitching spots, here's how we see the roster shaking out:

Catcher: Jose Trevino and Austin Wells

The catcher position is one of the easier groups to predict, especially with the news of Gerrit Cole's injury. Ben Rortvedt may have had a chance to crack the Opening Day roster as Cole's preferred catcher from 2023, however the return of Trevino and the emergence of Wells will send Rortvedt to the minors. Austin Wells will be one of the players to watch this season after a short stint in the Bronx at the end of 2023 batting .229 with four home runs in 70 At-bats. Trevino is one of the best pitch-framing catchers in all of baseball making him a valuable piece to the pitching staff.

First Base: Anthony Rizzo

The return of Rizzo is desperately anticipated by Yankees fans after losing the All-Star first baseman for most of 2023. Rizzo was dominant prior to his concussion, batting .303 with 11 home runs in 200 plate appearances. If DJ Lemahieu starts the year on the injured list the team will need Rizzo to hold down first base as there's no clear back-up that will make the roster.

Second Base: Gleyber Torres

Entering his final season before hitting free agency, Gleyber Torres will look to impress at the plate like he did in 2023. Torres led the team in hits, batting average, extra-base hits, and multi-hit games. The Yankees would love for Torres to cut down on his fielding and base running errors, but his bat may be vital for the team this season.

Short Stop: Anthony Volpe

The Yankees probably threw Volpe into the fire as the everyday shortstop too early, but he made nice progress through the 2023 season. The talk of the Spring has been Volpe's changed swing which has impressed, helping him bat .333 in 42 at-bats. The team will hope for another solid defensive season from the Gold Glove short stop.

Third Base: Oswaldo Cabrera

The biggest benefactor of Oswald Peraza and DJ Lemahieu's injuries will likely be Oswaldo Cabrera. The utility man has had a poor spring, batting .205 in 39 at-bats, and likely would have started the season in AAA if not for injuries to Peraza and LeMahieu. The Yankees will need the career .223 hitter to improve offensively in the time until LeMahieu returns.

Now how about the outfield, DH spot and the bench?