The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Pondering the postseason roster

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Sep 29, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

It’s all but official that the Yankees will choose the division series that starts Oct. 7. That series has an extra day off between the first two games and that allows them to use Mariano Rivera and Phil Hughes without concern. It also would allow them to use three starters instead of putting Game 4 in the hands of Joba Chamberlain.

That said, let’s take a look at how the postseason roster could be made up. This is based on what Joe Girardi has had to say along with informal discussions with assorted people in the organization.

LHP CC Sabathia
RHP A.J. Burnett
LHP Andy Pettitte
RHP Mariano Rivera
RHP Phil Hughes
LHP Phil Coke
RHP Alfredo Aceves
RHP Joba Chamberlain

In assuming he’s healthy
RHP David Robertson

Three choices for one spot
RHP Brian Bruney
RHP Chad Gaudin
LHP Damaso Marte

Breakdown: Robertson will get two appearances (at least) in the next five games to show he’s healthy. If he does that, he’s in. Girardi went on the record Monday saying he was impressed with Marte and liked having two left-handers in the bullpen. But if the Yankees face Detroit, the only lefty hitters the Tigers have are Curtis Granderson and Aubrey Huff. Why add an extra lefty in that case? Minnesota has Joe Mauer and Jason Kubel. Gaudin is attractive in a seven-game series because of his versatility. But in a short series, Chamberlain and Aceves can give multiple innings if needed. For the first round, it could come down to Bruney or Marte with Gaudin biding his time until the ALCS.

1B Mark Teixeira
2B Robinson Cano
SS Derek Jeter
3B Alex Rodriguez
C Jorge Posada
LF Johnny Damon
CF Melky Cabrera
RF Nick Swisher
DH Hideki Matsui
OF Brett Gardner
C Jose Molina

In assuming he’s healthy
INF-OF Jerry Hairston

Four choices for three spots
C Francisco Cervelli
OF-3B Eric Hinske
INF Ramiro Pena
OF Freddy Guzman

Breakdown: I think Cervelli is in. Having a third catcher would allow them to use Posada as a DH and sit Matsui against a lefty if they choose. Or easily pinch run for Posada late in games. Hinske would be the “pop off the bench” guy in case that is needed. They traded for Guzman specifically for these five games. He will be strictly a pinch runner. With slow guys like Matsui and Posada in the lineup, they could need a second pinch runner. It also would give them the ability to start Gardner and still have speed on the bench. Pena is likely the odd man out unless Hairston can’t play.

Now keep in mind that in a seven-game series, the roster will change. Then you drop a position player (Guzman or Cervelli) and add a pitcher (Bruney, Gaudin or Marte).

Just for the record, the Yankees do not have to select which series they will take until an hour after the matchup has been decided. The postseason roster does not have to be finalized until the day of Game 1.




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