Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My Yankee playoff roster, Sorry Kearns

Joe Girardi & Company spent most of yesterday scratching their heads trying to figure out who should fill those few available spots on the postseason roster of the New York Yankees. It's a lot less of a stressful endeavor for me so here are my thoughts:

Infield: The positions are set with Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez so the real question is who is going to be their backup. I vote for Ramiro Pena, who has been on the big-league roster all season, has proven to be a good defensive fill-in at shortstop, second and third base and has managed to get a couple of clutch hits while giving guys days off. He probably won't play at all, but he's a nice guy to have on the bench. I would also put another speedy/defensive kid on the bench such as Eduardo Nunez because Girardi probably will have to pinch run for his older guys late in games.

Outfield: With Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher set to start, the Yankees must figure out who will take Swisher's place in the lineup if his knee starts to act up. Greg Golson is likely to make the list for his speed and his unbelievable throwing arm. But I'm at a loss trying to figure out why Austin Kearns should make the postseason roster. Maybe Girardi would rather have a more veteran guy ready to play if Swisher can’t go, but Kearns hasn't made contact at the plate in more than a month and he’s not a very good defender.

Catcher: This one is easy although neither Jorge Posada nor Francisco Cervelli is defending particularly well these days.

Designated hitter: The combo of Lance Berkman and Marcus Thames will swing good bats for the Yankees in the playoffs, plus they can be put in the field in a pinch.

Starting pitching: With their three-man rotation of CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes, the question here is who the emergency starter is if something happens to one of these guys. Most likely it will be AJ Burnett, even though he has done nothing recently to inspire confidence. Putting Burnett on the postseason roster has more to do with his long contract than any faith his bosses or his teammates have in him because they probably have none at this point.

Relievers: Mariano Rivera, Kerry Wood, David Robertson, Joba Chamberlain and Boone Logan are the sure bets. I like having the second lefty so I would add Royce Ring into the mix, even with his youth. I would go with Dustin Moseley for the final spot, but if we actually see either of them in a game, that could mean the Yankees are in big trouble (or hopefully blowing out the Twins).

Thanks to jcasabona and UCinternational via Wikipedia for the photo.

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