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Analysis

Top position battles to watch at Yankees spring training

The New York Yankees are just about set to report for spring training, which means there are position battles to keep an eye on.

In just a few short weeks, the New York Yankees will take the field at spring training for the first time. As there are several players to watch this spring, there are also some heated position battles to keep an eye on. Some of these battles will shape the construction of the roster while others will simply determine the starting lineup.

The active rosters are expanding to 26 players this season, which will be a decision in its own right for manager Aaron Boone. On top of that, the Yankees have a number of positions that will feature some heavy competition before the regular season gets here.

Here are the top three position battles to watch at Yankees spring training:

Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

No. 5 starter

While general manager Brian Cashman said J.A. Happ is the fifth starter until further notice, most are waiting to see it before they believe it. Happ is coming off of a brutal 2019 season that saw him give up a career-high 34 home runs. In 161.1 innings, Happ had a 4.91 ERA, the highest he’s recorded since 2011.

Competing with Happ for that final spot in the starting rotation is another southpaw in Jordan Montogomery. Coming off of Tommy John surgery, Montogomery showed a lot of promise during his only season as a regular starter in 2017. In 155.1 innings pitched, Montgomery had a 3.88 ERA while striking out 144 batters.

With Gerrit Cole leading the rotation and the rest of the pieces falling in order, the Yankees will keep their attention on the fifth starter. That’s likely to be the winner of this competition between Happ and Montgomery.

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