The Other Nine on the 40-man roster
As of Tuesday, the “other nine” fell into three categories – injured Major Leaguers, injured Minor Leaguers, and Double-A Trenton Thunder players – and while one or two may be activated at some point, it’s also very likely that 31 is the limit.
Barring a move to designate someone for assignment or transfer a player to the 60-day disabled list, below is a look at the nine inactive players on the 40-man roster – as well as the four currently on that 60-day DL – and their likelihood for addition sometime in the next four weeks.
MLB 15-DAY DISABLED LIST (2): OF Zoilo Almonte, DH Travis Hafner
Both Almonte (sprained ankle) and Hafner (right rotator cuff strain) have been out for about six weeks, and both are doing tee and toss drills according to manager Joe Girardi. It’s possible one or both could be activated at some point, but if so, they would almost definitely return sans rehab assignment; all Minor League regular seasons are over as of Wednesday and only Trenton is alive in the postseason, so that would be their only possible landing spot.
TRIPLE-A SCRANTON (5): LHPs Manny Banuelos and Vidal Nuno; RHPs Michael Pineda and Jose Ramirez; IF Corban Joseph
The likelihood of any of these five coming up is slim to none, with Banuelos (Tommy John surgery last October) and Joseph (shoulder surgery in June) definitely on the none side and Ramirez, who was placed on the DL in late July with an undisclosed injury, seemingly there too.
Nuno, who has been out since early June with a severe groin injury, recently began a throwing program, but is doubtful to be anything more than an emergency returnee, leaving Pineda (shut down due to shoulder soreness in August) as the best hope; he has been throwing side sessions in Tampa of late, but would the Yankees take the risk of bringing him in somewhat cold?
DOUBLE-A TRENTON (2): OF Ramon Flores, LHP Nik Turley
The Thunder are headed to the Eastern League playoffs, which begin Wednesday and could end anywhere between Friday and late next week depending on how they fare, and that alone would seem to preclude either one coming up unless an absolute emergency occurs.
Beyond that, Flores “regressed” a little with a .260-6-55 line this year but wasn’t chosen for the Arizona Fall League, so he’s likely done after the playoffs, while Turley has already thrown a career-high 145 innings and isn’t listed as a probable starter for the playoffs until at least Game 4, so his season is almost assuredly over come next weekend if it isn’t already.
MLB 60-DAY DISABLED LIST (4): RHP David Phelps and IFs Jayson Nix, Mark Teixeira, and Kevin Youkilis
Of course, Teixeira (wrist) is out for the season and Phelps (forearm/elbow strain) and Nix (broken hand should be as well, but Youkilis is the wild card, as he is progressing from back surgery and continues to express hope for a return this season. Re-activating him would require a 40-man move, but the Yankees have several possible “easy” options to do that if need be, so it all depends on Youk’s rehab and, perhaps just as importantly, where they sit in the standings if and when he is ready.