With Brian Cashman in town, the Yankees coaching staff had its first official playoff roster discussion yesterday. They’ll continue that conversation this afternoon, and likely won’t finalize anything until a division series opponent is set.
“We’ll let what was said be digested from everybody involved and we’ve got to go over some advance scouting stuff (today),” Cashman said. “Prior to that or after that, we’ll pick it up again… There are certain aspects of the roster that are a lot more discussable than others. I know one thing, it’s going to be hard. We’ve got a lot of talent there.”
Cashman wouldn’t say who expects to fill the rotation, but he doesn’t see that as the most pressing issue.
“I think our pitching is a lot better than we’re getting credit for,” he said. “I don’t feel like we’re trying to come up with a third starter. I don’t feel that way at all. I think it’s more the bench that is really the big focus, and how does the pen round out? That’s going to be the big thing.”
On the bench, the biggest question seems to be whether or not to carry a true backup catcher.
“I don’t want to get specific,” Cashman said. “Joe has already said publicly Montero is on. It’s really Romine, if he makes it or doesn’t make it.”
In the bullpen, the Yankees have to sort through leftover starters and situational relievers.
“Usually you got to cut down from five to three (starters) in the postseason so there’s two guys who are going to have to go to the pen, or off the roster,” Cashman said. “I’m sure those two would rather be active than not, but there is an unknown about how they’ll handle it mentally and physically, and how they can perform. It’s unknown. You don’t know.”
On the possibility of carrying a second lefty:
“It’s a discussion point,” Cashman said. “That’s one area that (the opponent) would probably apply, if you’re playing an offense with a lot of lefties and stuff like that. That could necessitate something. That’s probably the only place the opponent really comes into play, with Valdes.”
Associated Press photo