Now that the Yankees have clinched a spot in the postseason, it is once again safe to discuss the postseason roster. I last did so at the end of August, and provided the following list of players I believe to be locks:
Position Players (12)
I think Austin Kearns has lost his lock status due to some poor play and better performance from Lance Berkman, but I would still be surprised if he was not on the roster, as he would provide some pop off the bench that could be useful in a long game.
My final 5 looked like this:
I think Burnett is a lock at this point due to a decent September and Joe Girardi’s faith in him, so that leaves 4 spots, with Eduardo Nunez, Javier Vazquez, Chad Gaudin, Sergio Mitre, Dustin Moseley, Greg Golson, and Royce Ring joining the players listed above as options. Marte is obviously out due to injury, so that leaves 10 players for 4 slots.
To complete the bullpen, I think the Yankees will take Ivan Nova and Javier Vazquez. Nova has performed well his first time through the batting order in most starts, and has the kind of stuff that should translate well to short relief. Vazquez wins the last spot by default, although I would not be shocked if Gaudin, Moseley, or Mitre stole that long relief role if Javy gets smacked around tonight. Additionally, with the Twins being susceptible to lefties, I think Royce Ring will at least get some fleeting consideration from Joe Girardi.
For the final two position players, I think Eduardo Nunez and Greg Golson will be the choices. Moeller is out because I do not think AJ Burnett will get an ALDS start, thereby leaving Frankie Cervelli on the bench and obviating the need for a third catcher. As for Nunez, he seems to have surpassed Pena as the Yankees primary utility guy over the last few weeks. While they may favor Pena’s defense, they seem to prefer Nunez’ bat and baserunning, which should result in Nunez making the roster. Golson’s ability to play the outfield makes him the final choice, with his speed on the bases being an additional factor in his favor.
This makes the final 5:
What would your roster look like?