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Inbox: What are chances Andujar cracks roster?

Beat reporter Bryan Hoch answers fans' questions
MLB.com @BryanHoch

I don't want to overhype his hot start, but what will it take for Miguel Andujar to make the Opening Day roster?
-- Mitchell K., Roslyn, N.Y.

If Andujar continues hitting like this, it will be almost impossible to keep him down. Even though general manager Brian Cashman has said that Brandon Drury arrived in camp with "a leg up" over Andujar to be the Yankees' Opening Day third baseman, that decision is by no means final. With four homers in the early going, Andujar has done everything right, but there are still three weeks to go.

I don't want to overhype his hot start, but what will it take for Miguel Andujar to make the Opening Day roster?
-- Mitchell K., Roslyn, N.Y.

If Andujar continues hitting like this, it will be almost impossible to keep him down. Even though general manager Brian Cashman has said that Brandon Drury arrived in camp with "a leg up" over Andujar to be the Yankees' Opening Day third baseman, that decision is by no means final. With four homers in the early going, Andujar has done everything right, but there are still three weeks to go.

He will have to keep up that level of production while spring rosters thin out and the talent level improves, but Andujar was hitting rockets at the big league level last year, too. If you talk to scouts, many believe that Andujar's bat could be ready to play right now, but they still have concerns about the consistency of his defense.

Video: NYY@PHI: Andujar launches a pair of solo dingers

To address that, Andujar, the Yankees' No. 4 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, has been working extensively with infield coach Carlos Mendoza on the back fields, particularly on his footwork and throwing. Manager Aaron Boone watched game video from last season with Andujar and said that he already sees improvement.

"We feel like, whoever we have out there, we'll be good to go," Boone said. "We've got really good options. Brandon, he's already been a good player. We think he can go to another level. And we're really excited about Miggy. And beyond that with Toe [Ronald Torreyes] and [Danny] Espinosa -- guys we feel like are really capable of doing what we need."

:: Submit a question to the Yankees Inbox ::

What do you think the chances are that Gleyber Torres will get more seasoning at Triple-A?
-- Steve McP., Palm Beach, Fla.

I do expect Torres, the Yanks' top prospect, to begin the year at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and it has less to do with the service time considerations that have been discussed (Cashman has said that won't affect their decision at all) than the fact that he is coming off season-ending surgery.

Video: DET@NYY: Torres talks about his rehab, 2018 season

With Torres' year having ended in late June, he was limited to 96 plate appearances at Triple-A, which will probably make it an easy call for the Yankees to stash him with the RailRiders for a month or so. If Torres plays the way he did during his first few weeks at that level, he probably won't be there for long.

Will the Yankees acquire another starting pitcher before Opening Day, or is it more likely they'll hold off until the non-waiver Trade Deadline?
-- Joey P., via email

There is still time on the clock, but Cashman recently said that there is "nothing hot" regarding the starting-pitching market. Boone also said that his understanding is that free agents such as Alex Cobb and Lance Lynn are not realistic options, so the Yanks may very well go forward with what they have and look to upgrade in-season. That said, I've learned not to be shocked when a new player walks into the clubhouse at any moment.

"We're always open to trade and free-agent concepts if it fits our criteria," Cashman said. "Our work is never done in terms of trying to add to what we have. If something comes into play, we'll become aggressive with it."

Is there an opportunity for Chance Adams to make the 25-man roster?
-- Jason F., Atascocita, Texas

As the roster currently stands, Adams, the Yanks' No. 6 prospect, will probably open the season back at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and be one of the first options to be called up in the event of injury, or if the Yankees need a sixth starter -- something that Boone has talked about doing from time to time.

Video: Top Prospects: Chance Adams, RHP, Yankees

Cashman has said that he did not want to add Adams to the 40-man roster because he wasn't yet eligible for the Rule 5 Draft, and they needed those spots to protect other players this past offseason. The GM added that Adams has "done everything he needs to do" in terms of Minor League performance. The Yankees were asked about Adams repeatedly in trade proposals this past winter, and it should be viewed as significant that they held onto him.

Which non-roster invitee has the best chance to make the Opening Day roster?
-- Jeff S., via Twitter

Espinosa probably has a slight edge over Jace Peterson as the Yanks continue to evaluate their choices at second base. They like his glove and believe there are a number of ways that he could help them this season, perhaps as a utility infielder. The Adam Lind signing is an interesting one as well, with the veteran coming off a productive season in which he posted an .875 OPS for the Nationals. He's challenging Tyler Austin for a job as Greg Bird's backup at first base.

Will the Giancarlo Stanton-in-left-field experiment work?
-- A.J. A., via Twitter

It remains to be seen, but let's not evaluate Stanton on the first day in left field, though it certainly wasn't pretty on Sunday. He struggled with the high blue sky and to some extent with the swirling winds, but Boone still said he was encouraged by the routes that Stanton took. The plan is to have Stanton play left field again on Tuesday against the Tigers, and Aaron Judge will probably get a start or two out there as well to see what it looks like. Regardless of how either performs, Brett Gardner is still going to play the majority of games in left field, so I'm not sure how much it will really matter -- other than the occasional road game against a tough lefty. Boone is still tinkering with his ideal right field/DH split for Judge and Stanton.

Which jersey number is going to be issued next: 13, 21 or 25?
-- Jarrod Z., St. Joseph, Mich.

Sorry, Mark Teixeira, but it's going to be 25. Equipment manager Rob Cucuzza has already doled it out this spring, to non-roster outfielder Shane Robinson. I did a double-take the first time I saw it during outfield drills.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar