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CLEARWATER, FLA. — The Yankees will hold their cards close until the last minute. Aaron Boone said Sunday they will likely not finalize their roster decisions until after they have broken camp and return to New York. The Yankees are obviously waiting on word of whether reliever Justin Wilson will have to begin the season in the injured list. They have also been out scouring the trade markets the last two weeks.
“We’ll be very close to finalizing but there could be some things that alternate in the final moments or hours or whatever,” the Yankees manager said before Sunday’s 6-2 loss at BayCare Ballpark. “There’s a chance we will though. I think we’ll have a pretty good idea as I sit here right now, feeling like I have a pretty good idea.”
Boone admitted part of that hinges on how Wilson, who left a game last Monay with shoulder tightness, progresses after returning to his throwing program on Saturday.
“We’re working through that right now. I think it’s going to be close,” Boone said. “Either way, if he does start on the IL, I think it’ll be on the shortest end possible, because he’s getting ready to get right back on the mound. We’re encouraged by what we saw yesterday and what he walked in here with (on Sunday), but we haven’t made that final decision one way or the other. We’ll know that in the next couple days.”
So, with three days until Opening Day, someone like utility man Tyler Wade has to wait, but probably not worry. Boone knows what flexibility Wade can bring to his roster.
“Especially in a bench role, he gives you a lot of defensive versatility,” Boone said. “Talking about second base, it’s elite. It’s a really special range, the ability to play short, I like him in the outfield. I feel like in a situation I can throw him in the outfield and he’s gonna be really solid out there, especially with the speed. Obviously the speed on the bases, but also coupled with being a real instinctual, really good bass runner. In the last week I feel like his at-bats have been good. He has gotten some hits of late... hitting the ball well... I feel like he’s in a pretty good spot and I know he’s gonna play an important role for us.”
TOUGH CUT FOR TAUCHMAN
Mike Tauchman left Sunday’s game after fouling a ball off his calf/shin. The outfielder who was battling for a roster spot until Saturday, was getting treatment Sunday evening.
“Just icing that. Wanted to get him out of there, didn’t want it to swell up on him,” Boone said. “He’ll get some treatment on it. No X-Rays as of now. See how he is in the morning.”
Tauchman was mentioned in trade talks this spring as the Yankees considered using Jay Bruce as their left hander off the bench. Bruce, however, had his contract picked up when Luke Voit went down with a knee injury.
Clint Frazier, who seemed to get up awkwardly after a slide, was not injured. Boone said the outfielder ripped his sliding tights on the play.
Corey Kluber wasn’t going out that way. At least not before his work was done. The Yankees right hander was pulled with two outs in a rough third inning in which he walked two and hit a batter to bring in a run. Thanks to the fun spring training rules, however, Kluber was able to return and get two quick outs to end his spring training.
“One of the benefits of the (spring training) rules you can get taken out of the game and go back and get to work. I’d rather do that than have to go down to the bullpen and finish,” Kluber said. “I feel like as far as build up and stuff I think I’m kind of right where I need to be.”
Kluber was charged with two runs on three hits. He walked four and struck out five in 3.1 innings work. He threw 66 pitches.
“I thought it was a good day’s work for him,” Boone said. “He actually executed a lot of pitches... I thought the one thing he let some guys back into the count when he had chances to put them away, but I thought he executed a lot of his pitches and stuff and the movement on his pitches. Overall it was really good.”