August 31, 2010

Yankees playoff roster projection

I really hate counting out the Red Sox as early as I am, but I took the hint from their series loss to the Rays this past weekend. The Yankees and Rays remain tied with the best record in baseball and are heavy favorites to make the playoffs, so it’s time to start thinking about what their playoff rosters are going to look like.

Since I’m a Yankees blogger, I’m want to show you what I have in mind for them. By all means, make your case for players I reject. But please hear my cases for the fringe guys first!

The No-Doubters
Hitters (12)
Jorge Posada
Francisco Cervelli
Mark Teixeira
Lance Berkman
Robinson Cano
Derek Jeter
Alex Rodriguez
Brett Gardner
Curtis Granderson
Nick Swisher
Marcus Thames
Austin Kearns

Pitchers (8)
CC Sabathia
Andy Pettitte
Phil Hughes
Mariano Rivera
Joba Chamberlain
David Robertson
Boone Logan
Kerry Wood

I think it’s safe to say the Yankees will carry 14 hitters and 11 pitchers, so that leaves spots for two more hitters and three pitchers. Here we go:

The Fringe Guys
Ramiro Pena — I’ll take him over Eduardo Nunez as my backup infielder. Pena has far more major-league experience than Nunez and is better defensively at more positions. I think it’s a no-brainer right now, but this could change in September.

Greg Golson — This might come as a shock to you. He has five at-bats with the Yankees this year and I have him on their playoff roster. I think the Yankees would benefit more from a speedster off the bench than a third catcher because I see Marcus Thames and Lance Berkman sharing DH duties when Francisco Cervelli catches.

A.J. Burnett — I think he’ll make the roster, but I’m not sure if he’ll be in the rotation. Another poor start or two and I think Joe Girardi will kick him out to the bullpen (where I happen to think he could be great). He’s really the biggest question mark on the whole staff.

Javier Vazquez — Like Burnett, I don’t know whether he’ll be a starter or reliever, but I think he’ll make the roster. If he’s in the rotation, that means he’s back to mid-season form. If he’s still in the pen, then maybe Girardi doesn’t want to mess with what’s working. We’ll see. Ivan Nova is the guy I’m rejecting here.

Damaso Marte — Oh how much a big game in the World Series can mean for a player. Such is the case for Marte. There hasn’t been a lot of good news about his rehab, but if he can make a few appearances in late September I think that’s more than enough evidence for Girardi to choose him. Plus, Girardi loves left-handed relievers. Who doesn’t?

There you have it. I’ll post an updated version when late September rolls around, but until then you can feast on this. And if you’re really hungry, take a look at another perspective from a fellow Yankees blogger.

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