The Yankees’ bullpen will look considerably different than expected when the season opens Thursday.
Aroldis Chapman will be out while serving a two-game suspension for throwing near Tampa Bay’s Mike Brosseau’s head last season, and Justin Wilson will be on the injured list after experiencing shoulder tightness in spring training. Wilson threw a bullpen session Wednesday and is expected back by the first road trip.
Then there’s Lucas Luetge, the 33-year-old journeyman who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2015, but had a terrific spring and officially made the roster Wednesday.
“He came into camp and had expectations around him, but there was some really good competition,’’ manager Aaron Boone said. “We could have gone a lot of different ways going into that spot. It’s hard to deny what Lucas has done from the start of camp. He pushed his way onto the roster and I’m excited to see what he can do for us.”
Luetge appeared in 10 Grapefruit League games and gave up just a pair of runs in 10 ¹/₃ innings, while walking only two. Where the left-hander really separated himself, though, was with his 18 strikeouts.
“He came in and absolutely dominated hitters,’’ Chad Green said. “That’s what you have to do to make a team. He’s fun watch.”
One AL scout who saw Luetge throughout the spring, said, “It’s easy to be fooled by what you see during that time of year, but his stuff seemed good.”
Luetge will get a chance to prove it, provided he’s given the opportunity before Wilson returns.
And without Chapman, Boone said again Wednesday he won’t designate a closer, going instead with matchups.
“Certainly, Green or [Darren] O’Day or anyone else [could close],’’ Boone said. “I wouldn’t hesitate to use those guys in a high-leverage [situation] before a save situation.”
Mike Tauchman got some work in alongside Jay Bruce in Wednesday’s workout at Yankee Stadium, and Boone didn’t rule out the possibility of Tauchman seeing some time there with Luke Voit out after knee surgery.
“We’ll see,’’ Boone said.
The manager added Tauchman was slated to get a few innings in at the position in one of the Yankees’ final spring training games before Tauchman fouled a ball off his right shin, sidelining him for a few days.
“We’re trying as much as we can with our guys to try to create as much versatility [as we can],’’ said Boone, pointing to the smaller number of position players on rosters, as teams look to add pitching depth.
Aaron Judge took batting practice and is “ready to go” for Thursday, according to Boone, after the right fielder missed the final three games of spring training — including the last one due to being “under the weather,’’ perhaps because of allergies.
The Yankees made a number of moves Wednesday.
They signed lefty Luetge to a major league contract and selected him to the 40-man roster. They placed Miguel Andujar on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Monday, with right wrist carpal tunnel syndrome.
They placed LHP Zack Britton on the 60-day injured list with a left elbow bone spur and placed Voit on the 10-day injured list with a left knee medial meniscus injury, retroactive to Monday.
Wilson was placed on the 10-day injured list with left shoulder inflammation, also backdated to Monday.