The rosters expand today and the Yankees will start the process of deciding which 25 players they will go to the postseason with.
The tough decisions will come in putting together the bullpen. Let’s examine it:
No doubters: Mariano Rivera, Phil Hughes, Alfredo Aceves.
Probably in barring disaster: Phil Coke, Dave Robertson.
Long reliever candidates: Chad Gaudin, Sergio Mitre.
Borderline: Brian Bruney, Damaso Marte.
Minor-league longshots: Jonathan Albaladejo, Anthony Claggett, Edwar Ramirez.
Intriguing kids: Mike Dunn, Mark Melancon.
The left-handed Dunn is interesting. He has struck out 99 in 73.1 innings and allowed only 58 hits. But he also has walked 46. Dunn has shown improvement with his control lately. Girardi loves having two lefties in the pen. It could come down to Dunn or Marte.
The Yankees also will have to decide whether they keep an extra position player or reliever. Jose Molina and Jerry Hairston are locks. If Brett Gardner comes back, he’ll be there. Do you then keep Eric Hinske or an extra pitcher?
It’ll be interesting to speculate on as this month goes on.