With the rosters for the last month at the full 40 man slot, the Yankees were able to try out a ton of guys in the final month to see who would deserve to be a part of the Yankees postseason roster. The Yankees and all other playoff teams must cut their rosters down to 25 for the postseason. That should break down to 15 position players and 10 pitchers. Remember that the Yankees can redo their roster’s between the ALDS and the ALCS – meaning the rosters are going to be different.
For the ALDS, the Yankees only need to get three wins to advance – and with the great schedule, they only need to use three starters to achieve that. The Yankees will play Wednesday, Friday and Sunday – than Monday and Wednesday of the following week for the “if necessary” games. That means CC could easily start the first game and then the fourth game easily – negating the need for the 4th starter.
Let’s break down who is guaranteed a spot and who might be a question mark.
Guaranteed Position Players: Derek Jeter (SS); Johnny Damon (OF); Mark Teixeira (1B); Alex Rodriguez (3B); Hideki Matsui (DH); Jorge Posada (C); Robinson Cano (2B); Nick Swisher (OF/1B); Brett Gardner (OF); Melky Cabrera (OF).
The above 10 guys are the starting lineup and the interchangeable Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner.
Guaranteed Starting Pitchers: CC Sabathia (L); AJ Burnett (R); Andy Pettitte (L)
Guaranteed Relief Pitchers: Phil Hughes (R); Mariano Rivera (R); Phil Coke (L); Al Aceves (R)
SO who’s not guaranteed, but probably in:
Position Players: Erik Hinske (OF/PH); Jerry Hairiston, Jr (UTIL); Freddy Guzman (PR); Ramiro Pena (IF/PR); Jose Molina (C)
Pitchers: Chad Gaudin (R); Brian Bruney (R); Damaso Marte (L)
Someone is going to jump down my throat for leaving out two guys – Francisco Cervelli as backup catcher and Joba Chamberlain as a relief pitcher – but let me explain my thoughts. I do think that this will be Molina’s final year with the Yankees. He is a free agent at the end of this season and despite his amazing defensive abilities, the Yankees will want to groom Cervelli as the backup catcher. Posada will be retiring at the end of the 2010 season or moving to a DH role and let’s real here – Joe Mauer will be the starting catcher for the Yankees in 2011.
regardless, Molina is the best option right now – he has the veteran experience and can do what the Yankees will need him to do better then a newbie. Sorry, Cervelli.
Finally, the Joba situation. As much as I love what Joba has done for the Yankees in his short career, he had ample opportunity to prove himself this summer and squandered almost every chance. He has an atrocious 7.82 ERA in his last 10 appearances and that can’t be allowed. He is too much of a question mark, and thus will lose his roster spot to Gaudin, Marte or Bruney.
The Yankees most likely will not make a final decision on rosters until they know who they will be playing on Wednesday – Minnesota or Detroit. Until then, this is all just speculation.