This is the first time in the history of this blog that the Yankees have clinched the AL East. This is a first for Trevor and I, and to mark this, I want to address some things regarding the Yankees and how they will prepare the team for the ALDS.

The lineup and bench are deep. The lineup boasts seven Bombers with 20+ home runs and the first time in MLB history that a shortstop and second base tandem had 200+ hits in a season. The bench has speed and the ability to hit for runs.

Outside of a few locks in the bullpen, who will make it? The locks are Mo, Hughes, Aceves and Coke (Robertson if he’s healthy). Gaudin has a good shot because he’s so versatile. Bruney made a strong case with 1.2 perfect innings. Marte has been terrible, but he’s a lefty.

Will Joba start or a relieve? He had a solid game on Friday against Boston. If the Yanks pick the longer LDS series, Joba could be moved to the pen for it. But then, if the Yanks advance, does it screw him up if/when he goes back to starting?

Who should start the second game of the ALDS? Should the Yanks go two straight lefties or put Burnett in between? I’d do the latter.

Should the Yankees do the long or short series? It all depends on who they face – Minnesota or Detroit. If it’s the Tigers, perhaps the Yanks want the shorter series if it means having to face Justin Verlander only twice instead of three times.

Who should be in the outfield, Gardner or Melky? Melky’s got power and an arm. Gardner’s got speed and defense. The best bet is to platoon them. Use them vs. the pitchers they are facing, and situational hitting and base running.

The rest of the roster is up for grabs. I have no idea who will be there. This week will tell.

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