Yankees Rumors & News
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As expected, Yankees manager Joe Torre announced this morning that Josh Phelps has beaten out Andy Phillips to make the 25-man roster. Via the Times‘ Tyler Kepner:

Reliever Sean Henn, catcher Wil Nieves and first baseman Josh Phelps all made the roster. Veteran catcher Todd Pratt and first baseman Andy Phillips will not make the team. Phillips had a typically classy reaction when Torre told him he had lost out to Phelps.

“It was tough,” Torre said. “He thanked us. In fact, the last thing he said to me was, he wanted to know if Phelps knew, because he wanted to congratulate him.”

Also, don’t be surprised if Phelps plays at first base on opening day against the Tampa Bay left-hander Scott Kazmir. Torre has been very impressed by Phelps and said he is giving “serious consideration” to starting him against lefties while Doug Mientkiewicz starts against right-handers.

Torre also confirmed that Carl Pavano will indeed start opening day on Monday, followed by Andy Pettite on Wednesday, then Mike Mussina, and finally Kei Igawa. No word yet on who the Yanks’ will use as their fifth starter while Chien-Ming Wang is out, but Torre did reveal that Jeff Karstens will start the season on the DL. Torre also stated that some consideration had been given to starting Pettitte over Pavano on opening day, however ultimately the team decided to give the lefty some more time to tune-up before his first start.

Today’s roster moves leave just one more major decision for the manager as Torre must pick between Ron Villone and Brian Bruney for the final spot in the bullpen. Villone has not pitched well this spring, and Kepner speculates that the veteran “will be traded or persuaded to go to the minors.” The Daily News‘ Mark Feinsand thinks that Villone “could be traded before the day is over.”

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