Guessing at the Yankees’ ALDS roster

Pitchers:

C.C. Sabathia
Hiroki Kuroda
Andy Pettitte
Phil Hughes
Rafael Soriano
David Robertson
Boone Logan
Joba Chamberlain
Clay Rapada
David Phelps
Derek Lowe

Catchers;

Russell Martin
Chris Stewart

Infielders:

Mark Teixeira
Robinson Cano
Derek Jeter
Alex Rodriguez
Eduardo Nunez
Casey McGehee
Eric Chavez

Outfielders:

Ichiro Suzuki
Curtis Granderson
Nick Swisher
Raul Ibanez
Brett Gardner

A couple of observations. As far as the pitching goes, this is a really easy exercise, as Derek Lowe is the only real bubble candidate, and the other 10 are all but guaranteed a spot. I suppose Clay Rapada doesn’t seem like a lock based on his recent usage, but he is an effective LOOGY, so there aren’t any alternatives who would seem to bring more to the table than his potential platoon advantage. The guy left out in the cold here is Cody Eppley, and I’m not really sure that the Yankees will indeed carry Lowe over him. Joe Girardi has been happy to use Eppley as a right-handed ground ball guy pretty much all year, but Lowe is pitching pretty well again, is a ground ball specialist himself, and has the whole veteran experience and ability to work a lot of innings things going for him. We’re basically talking about the last pitcher on the roster here, so I think those factors put Lowe ahead, and I’m cool with that.

The position players seem a bit murkier, but I don’t think it really is. Obviously the eight regular starters are locks, as are Stewart, Nunez, Chavez, and Ibanez. While nothing has been confirmed yet, I also think Gardner might as well be considered a guarantee for the roster as well. Given that he’s been cleared to hit, it’s hard to see why they wouldn’t take him for a bench spot, as there’s certainly no better available option to run and play defense late in a game. That gets us to 13 spots filled, with only McGehee and Andruw Jones left. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer between these two guys, honestly,and neither is likely to get much playing time, but I don’t think they’re going to go with Jones after sitting him down altogether against Jon Lester. Then again, they didn’t start McGehee in his place, and haven’t really seemed to have much use for him since acquiring Steve Pearce, so I really don’t have any idea which way they’ll go here. Ultimately it may be decided based on whether Chavez or Ibanez is going to function as the starting DH against right-handed pitchers.

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

18 thoughts on “Guessing at the Yankees’ ALDS roster

  1. Keith

    This may be getting a bit ahead of ourselves since the ALDS roster itself has not even been determined, but is it possible that if the Yankees' ALDS series goes 5 games, and they do not use any pitchers on short rest during the ALDS series, that whomever the Yankees' 5th starter is would have to start game 2 of the ALCS? Assuming that they are not willing to use whomever starts game 3 of the ALDS on short rest, and they actually win the ALDS.

    If so, then what was the advantage of finishing with the best record in the AL this year?

    • mcmastro

      You have to get through the ALDS in order to get to the ALCS, so that's really where the advantage lies. Not playing that extra game wild card game, which every division champ gets the benefit of, allows the Yankees to have C.C go two (if needed) in the ALDS. Assuming they go with a 4 man rotation, they would have their number 3 guy (Pettitte probably) pitch that 2nd game of the ALCS (if they make it).

      Really, the advantage is having an extra home game in both series.

      • Dan McCloskey

        But, I think Keith's point was game 3 of the ALDS is Oct. 10 and game 2 of the ALCS is Oct. 14. So, either the #3 guy is going on short rest, or they have to use the #5 guy. It's getting way ahead, of course, but the teams in the other ALDS don't have this disadvantage.

        • mcmastro

          I actually should have said that their number 2, Kuroda would probably be the choice starter. With him pitching on the 8th, he would be more than adequately rested.

          This, of course, is all assuming they go with a 4 man rotation. If not, then it would have to be their number 3 on short rest.

          • Dan McCloskey

            He (#2 starter – Kuroda) would be pitching game 1 of the ALCS. This whole scenario only applies if the ALDS goes five games.

          • mcmastro

            Excuse my stupidity. You're correct.

        • Keith

          It is definitely getting way ahead, but just for comparison purposes, even if the A's and Tigers go 5 games, the winner could have a rotation for the ALCS that looks like 2-3-1-4-2-3-1, while the Yankees' rotation would be 2-5-3-1-2-4-3, unless your #1 could go on short-rest then you could have 2-5-1-3-2-4-1.

          Either way, I am not sure the extra home games (which the #2 seed could potentially have anyway) offsets not having the extra day between the end of the ALDS and ALCS, which could also have a huge impact on potential bullpen availability.

    • JEP

      Another way the Yankees are getting the short end from the scheduling is theirs is the only first round series that has no off day between game 5 and game 1 of the ALCS. The other six first round teams have one or two off days in between.

  2. Dan McCloskey

    As William pointed out the other day, McGehee has been buried deep on the bench for a while. I looked up previously, but don't think he even has a hit since mid or late August (mostly due to a lack of playing time).

    I'm going to throw out the suggestion that they might take 12 pitchers, with both Eppley and Lowe making it. I'm not sure it's necessary, but since they're playing 5 games in 6 days, I think it's possible. If Nix were healthy, I would say they take him as the 14th position player, which would allow him to be the primary backup infielder (not that he'll be needed unless there's an injury), while using Nunez in a platoon DH role.

    • JEP

      Don't think it's worth it to take 12 pitchers. If the Yankees are using more than 5 or 6 of their bullpen arms regulary, they're probably getting their butts kicked and an extra pitcher won't help much.

  3. jay_robertson

    as little as I like Eppley, I would have been tempted to take him over Lowe – except – I can also be swayed by the argument of What Have You Done Lately? And the last few games, Lowe has stepped up big. I'd probably take him, and if he falls on his face, swap with Eppley for the next series…

    until he falls on his face, and then go back to Lowe for the Series. ;)

  4. michael

    Probably small difference, but Chavez please over Ibanez as DH. Raul hasn't been getting on base a ton, and Chavez has raked in this regard.

  5. Reality check

    I agree with the entire set, except I take Eppley over McGehee.

    • Mike

      same here. not sure if this last spot will matter too much but what the hay

  6. JEP

    I'd rather have the extra position player. Of course anyone could get hurt, but I still consider Tex and Gardner suspect physically given the lingering nature of their injuries. Especially Texeira because it's a leg injury.

  7. not Montero's dad

    Phelps and Lowe are both needed. What if a starter ges knocked out early, and the next game goes into extra innings? NYY need some guys who can go multiple innings. Sorry, Eppley.

  8. Hugh

    How about Dickerson over Jones and McGhee? I know he's the wrong wya round, but he has done everything a bit better than the other two this year, has he not?

  9. Paul

    With the game on the line, reduced to one at bat, would you rather have the 25th player be a pitcher or a hitter? The orioles don't give up runs late in the game. I think it would be better to try to stop them from scoring late than to get a key hit late.

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