Yangervis Solarte has been given the last spot on the New York Yankees’ Opening Day roster – and rightfully so. The 26-year-old definitely wasn’t a favorite to travel to Houston on April 1, but after knocking the cover off the ball in Spring Training, he earned the roster spot.
In 47 plate appearances, Solarte batted .429/.489/.571 with two home runs, nine RBIs, nine runs scored and five walks. Compared to the rest of the Yankees, he led the team with 18 hits, was tied with Carlos Beltran for first place in RBIs and was second in batting average among players with more than two at bats. Simply put, he raked.
The loser in this story is Eduardo Nunez, who is currently on the Yankees’ 40-man roster. This considered, plus the fact that he’s played in the Show for the past four seasons, many (including myself) assumed the utility infielder would make the 25-man roster for Opening Day.
Unfortunately for Nunez, he had a terrible spring. In forty nine at bats, Nunez posted a slash line of .265/.280/.388 with one home run, four RBIs and seven runs scored. Combined with his defensive struggles and Solarte’s success, there was too much going against the 26-year-old utility infielder.
Despite Nunez’s experience, it would have been impossible for Joe Girardi to award him the final spot on the Opening Day roster. Solarte totally outplayed him. So actually, the first sentence in this article is incorrect. Solarte was not given the last spot on the Yankees’ Opening Day roster. He went out and took it.