Now that the Yankees have clinched a playoff berth, I can have some fun and speculate on the Yankees 25 man playoff roster and talk about how I would use them if I were managing the Yankees.
Round 1 – best of 5 against the Minnesota Twins. I don’t feel the Yankees need to use 4 starting pitchers in this series, so I left AJ Burnett off the roster. For the best of 7 rounds, I dropped a backup outfielder (this could also be a relief pitcher in that 25th spot) and put Burnett back on there.
- CC Sabathia
- game 1 starter
- Andy Pettitte
- game 2 starter
- Phil Hughes
- game 3 starter (AJ Burnett isn’t really giving me a choice here)
- Mariano Rivera
- closer. Mo saves: for he is the power, the kingdom, and the glory, forever and ever…
- Kerry Wood
- primary setup man
- Joba Chamberlain
- RH RP – comes into the game at the beginning of innings (preferably)
- David Robertson
- RH RP – the fireman, comes into tough situations in the middle of innings to deliver us from evil with Ks
- Boone Logan
- LH RP – primary lefty out of the pen to get the big bat out in the biggest match up situation
- Royce Ring
- LH RP – extra match up lefty, used early in the game – especially useful against all those Twins left handed bats; if the Yankees don’t get the Twins at some point, maybe you fill this spot with another backup outfielder
- Sergio Mitre
- Jorge Posada
- starting catcher
- Mark Teixeira
- starting 1B
- Robinson Cano
- starting 2B
- Derek Jeter
- starting SS
- Alex Rodriguez
- starting 3B
- Brett Gardner
- starting LF
- Curtis Granderson
- starting CF
- Nick Swisher
- starting RF
- Austin Kearns
- 4th outfielder
- Ramiro Pena
- pinch runner/backup infielder for every position but 1B, unless absolutely necessary; haven’t seen him play there
- Francisco Cervelli
- backup catcher, not an awful option for punch runner, but then we’re out of catchers, so only in a game ending situation
- Lance Berkman
- DH/PH against right RHP, backup 1B
- Marcus Thames
- DH/PH against LHP, emergency outfielder
- Eduardo Nunez
- pinch runner, emergency middle infielder. I went with Nunez over Juan Miranda because with Berkman and Thames, I feel like the Yankees bench has enough bats, and I don’t have a ton of faith in Miranda’s bat, anyway. Besides, Nunez can play more than one position and has speed, which I’d like to have off the bench, say in the 8th inning after Posada walks…
- ALDC: Colin Curtis/Greg Golson/Kevin Russo // ALCS/WS: A.J. Burnett, 4 starter
- I haven’t seen enough of these guys to decide who’d be the most valuable as a pinch runner and/or as a backup outfielder; in fact, I considered putting a reliever in this spot, but who? I like Ivan Nova a lot, but let’s face it, he’s a kid and has hardly an MLB experience
- I know, I know – nobody wants to see Burnett in the playoffs. Sorry, folks – you’re going to have to get over that. If the Yankees make it passed the first round, Burnett is going to start. Experience counts in the playoffs, and really, when it’s all on the line, who would you rather have out there? Vazquez? Gaudin? Nova? Mitre? In your heart of hearts, you know Burnett and his 95 MPH fastball and nasty curve ball are the way to go. All starters will be on a short leash, anyway, so at the first sign of trouble, Joe Girardi will more than likely go get him anyway – or anyone else
That’s the way I see it. I know some folks want to give Nova a chance, but I think that’s asking too much, too soon of an inexperienced kid. It’d be a bold move, and I don’t see someone as calculating as Girardi doing it. Joe Torre wouldn’t even consider it; he loves his veterans.
Wild Card or AL East Division winners, it’s all the same. The Yankees are in the dance, so they’ve got a chance. This is what we wait all year for, and we’ve had the opportunity to watch October baseball for 15 out the last 16 years, and it never gets old. No matter what happens, this has been a great year. Let’s see if they can go all the way and get number 28! I’m predicting a rematch of last year’s World Series and despite Philly looking a little better than last year (although I don’t know who they have in their bullpen), I’m also predicting the same outcome.
LET’S GO YANKEES!
Nice job by David Price for calling out his fan base – it might not have been the best business decision for the Rays organization, but they have a good team and it deserves it’s fan’s support. If they can’t get it, they should move – I’m sure Las Vegas would welcome them with open arms.
An even better job by the Rays for giving away thousands of free tickets in the wake of Price-Gate. Maybe they can win the fans over yet
Check out my post at The Fowl Balls on Mariano Rivera’s tough outings in September.