Just out of the mouth of Yankees VP of Baseball Operations Mark Newman, the Thunder's 2007 expected Opening Day roster:
Outfield (4): Justin Christian, Brett Gardner, Shawn Garrett, Matt Carson
Infield (6): Cody Ehlers, Gabe Lopez, Ramiro Pena, Aarom Baldiris, Carlos Mendoza, Juan Francia.
Catchers (2): P.J. Pilittere, Jason Brown
Starters (5): Chase Wright, Jeff Marquez, Alan Horne, Brett Smith, Jason Jones
Bullpen (7): Kevin Whelan, Gerardo Casadiego, Scott Patterson, Jeff Kennard, Paul Thorpe, Michael Gardner, Edwar Ramirez.
As expected, Newman warned that this wasn't set in stone, and that some moves still could happen between now and Thursday. The most significant caveat is with the bullpen; if Ron Villone accepts the Yankees' offer to pitch in Triple-A, the likely scenario is that Charlie Manning gets sent back here while Ramirez goes back to High-A Tampa.
No really big surprises, except for Howard. Newman wouldn't tell me why he isn't in Double-A or where he is going instead. If I find out more, I'll post it.
As for last night, it was a fairly uneventful flight home from Tampa. A few of the Yankees reporters (Ed Price from the Star Ledger, Pete Caldera from the Bergen Record, and Bryan Hoch from mlb.com) were on my flight after covering the Yankees' final spring training game that afternoon.
Now that things appear to have fallen into place, I must get back to matters such as laundry and preview stories, not to mention a story for tonight's paper. Barring breaking news, my next post will probably come on Tuesday night, after media day.
UPDATE: I heard this morning that Kevin Howard was released. I know he didn't have that great a year in Double-A last season, but this is still surprising, especially since the Yankees signed the likes of Baldiris as free agents.