With rosters set to expand to 40 on Tuesday, Major League Baseball teams suddenly find themselves paying strict attention to their farm systems. And prospects pay strict attention to their games, working hard to impress their parent clubs.
According to MLB.com, the Yankees are likely to call up position players Francisco Cervelli, Ramiro Pena, Shelley Duncan and Brett Gardner.
Cervelli, a 23-year-old catching prospect, saw some major league action earlier this season when Jorge Posada and backup Jose Molina were both on the disabled list. Cervelli impressed the pinstripes with his .269 batting average and comfort with New York’s veteran pitchers. This is especially good news for manager Joe Girardi because Posada’s sore left ring finger isn’t likely to improve.
Pena is a slick fielder who has been learning how to play center field in Triple-A. Now that Jerry Hairston is on New York’s roster, Pena is unlikely to be called on to play in the outfield, but the 24-year-old could fine pinch-run and play the infield.
“He’s a very gifted defender,” manager Joe Girardi told MLB.com.
Duncan leads the Triple-A International League with 27 home runs and gave the Yankees a taste of his power during a stretch in the Show in 2007.
Gardner has been on the disabled list since July 26 with a fractured thumb, but he is expected to be called up later in September.
"[Gardner's thumb has] been getting better every day, so hopefully, it continues to do so," Girardi said.
As for pitching, with additional restrictions placed on Joba Chamberlain, the Yankees may choose to bolster their bullpen. Mark Melancon, Anthony Claggett and Jonathan Albaladejo would be first in line.