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Yankees' roster set after Wade optioned

@BryanHoch
March 24, 2019

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees finalized their Opening Day roster on Sunday, with recently acquired outfielder Mike Tauchman making the club over infielder/outfielder Tyler Wade, who was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Selecting between Tauchman and Wade for the final bench spot was the only remaining decision for manager Aaron Boone,

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees finalized their Opening Day roster on Sunday, with recently acquired outfielder Mike Tauchman making the club over infielder/outfielder Tyler Wade, who was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Selecting between Tauchman and Wade for the final bench spot was the only remaining decision for manager Aaron Boone, who informed Stephen Tarpley will have a bullpen spot following a terrific Spring Training that saw the left-hander win the James P. Dawson Award as the club's top rookie in camp.

"We have a few injuries, but knock on wood, we feel like we've avoided some long-term situations with pretty much most of them," Boone said. "I feel like we've had a good camp. I feel like the guys have come in with a plan and those who had something to prove all met our hopes and met our expectations for the most part."

Here is a look at the roster that the Yankees will field for their Thursday opener against the Orioles, and how it evolved in camp:

Catcher (2): Gary Sánchez, Austin Romine
What changed? Nothing. Sanchez started his spring slightly behind schedule after undergoing a left shoulder debridement in November, but the 26-year-old appeared healthy both at bat and in the field despite an 8-for-36 (.222) spring. Romine is entrenched as the backup, a role in which he has served capably.

First base (2): Greg Bird, Luke Voit
What changed? General manager Brian Cashman said earlier this month that he did not envision carrying both first basemen, but that was before Aaron Hicks' lingering lower back injury. Bird and Voit both had impactful springs at the plate, and both should see playing time in the early going, though Boone believes Bird has the defensive edge.

Second base (1): Gleyber Torres
What happened? Nothing. After finishing third in last year's American League Rookie of the Year Award balloting, the Yankees are excited to see what Torres can do in his sophomore campaign. He will see some time at shortstop as well, potentially starting there twice a week.

Shortstop (1): Troy Tulowitzki
What changed? The Yankees committed to giving Tulowitzki a real opportunity to serve as their everyday shortstop while Didi Gregorius recovers from Tommy John surgery, and the 34-year-old looked more athletic than anticipated as he played through the spring. He'll need regular time off after missing the last 1 1/2 years with heel and ankle injuries.

Third base (1): Miguel Andújar
What changed? Nothing. Andujar finished second to the Angels' Shohei Ohtani in last year's AL Rookie of the Year Award balloting, and a strong case can be made that Andujar deserved the prize. Regardless, Andujar was arguably the Yanks' most consistent hitter from wire to wire, and has continued to work on improving his defensive footwork.

Utility (1): DJ LeMahieu
What changed? Nothing. LeMahieu's role is exactly as it was described to him during the offseason. The two-time Gold Glove Award winner will fill in at second base when Torres moves to shortstop. LeMahieu could start once or twice a week at third base, especially if Boone uses Andujar to DH against a tough left-hander, and he is viewed as a backup first baseman. Thus, Boone believes that he can find ways to play LeMahieu five or six times a week.

Outfielders (4): Brett Gardner, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Mike Tauchman
What changed? Having just agreed to a seven-year, $70 million extension, Hicks would have been the Opening Day center fielder, but he has not played since March 1 due to chronic back pain. That prompted the Yankees to acquire Tauchman from the Rockies on Saturday, valuing his ability to play all three outfield spots as a backup. That was bad news for Tyler Wade, who had been expected to make the club in a super-utility role.

Starting pitchers (5): RHP Masahiro Tanaka, LHP James Paxton, LHP J.A. Happ, RHP Domingo Germán, LHP CC Sabathia
What changed? Fresh off a four-year, $40 million extension, Luis Severino experienced discomfort after snapping off a slider prior to a March 5 start, and he is not expected to rejoin the team before May 1. That pressed Tanaka into duty as the Opening Day starter, the fourth time he has claimed that honor. Sabathia is on the roster to serve a five-game suspension, then will go to the injured list as Jonathan Loaisiga will be recalled from Triple-A.

Relief pitchers (8): LHP Aroldis Chapman (closer), LHP Zack Britton, RHP Luis Cessa, RHP Chad Green, RHP Jonathan Holder, RHP Tommy Kahnle, RHP Adam Ottavino, LHP Stephen Tarpley
What changed? Cessa (0.53 ERA in 17 innings) and Kahnle (1.23 ERA in 7 1/3 innings) pitched themselves onto the roster with excellent springs, which was convenient since both were out of Minor League options. Cessa will serve as the long reliever. Tarpley (0.00 ERA in 11 1/3 innings) could not be denied either. The Yankees could have a tough decision to make when Dellin Betances regains his health after sustaining a right shoulder impingement.

Here is the full 25-man Yankees roster:

Catchers
Gary Sanchez
Austin Romine

Infielders
Miguel Andujar
Greg Bird
DJ LeMahieu
Gleyber Torres
Troy Tulowitzki
Luke Voit

Outfielders
Brett Gardner
Aaron Judge
Giancarlo Stanton
Mike Tauchman

Starting pitchers
Masahiro Tanaka
James Paxton
J.A. Happ
Domingo German
CC Sabathia

Relief pitchers
Aroldis Chapman
Zack Britton
Luis Cessa
Chad Green
Jonathan Holder
Tommy Kahnle
Adam Ottavino
Stephen Tarpley

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