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Speculating About The Playoff Roster

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The Yankees have just two more games remaining in which to evaluate the candidates for their Division Series roster. Joe Girardi has said repeatedly that some decisions may depend on how certain players, pitchers especially, match up against their first-round opponent, whose identity has yet to be determined, but I thought I'd take a quick look at how the roster is shaping up anyway.

Right now, 18 spots appear to be set:

Starters:

1B - Mark Teixeira (S)
2B - Robinson Cano (L)
SS - Derek Jeter (R)
3B - Alex Rodriguez (R)
C - Russell Martin (R)
LF - Brett Gardner (L)
CF - Curtis Granderson (L)
RF - Nick Swisher (S)

Bench:

R - Andruw Jones (OF/DH)
R - Eduardo Nuñez (UT)

Rotation:

L - CC Sabathia
R - Ivan Nova

Bullpen:

R - Mariano Rivera
R - David Robertson
R - Rafael Soriano
L - Boone Logan
R - Cory Wade
R - Luis Ayala

Assuming the Yankees plan to start CC Sabathia on three-day's rest in a potential Game 4 (Ivan Nova would then be on full rest for Game 5), they'll only need one additional starter, and I find it difficult to believe they'd need more than seven relievers. Adding one starter and one reliever (or long man, possibly a repurposed starter) to the above gives them a ten-man pitching staff and room for five more hitters, and it's pretty easy to figure out which five they'd take:

S - Jorge Posada (DH/1B)
L - Eric Chavez (3B/1B)
R - Jesus Montero (DH/C)
R - Austin Romine (C)
L - Chris Dickerson (OF)

Dickerson is needed because, otherwise, when Jones is the DH, Nuñez would be the only back-up outfielder. Romine is the back-up catcher. Montero is a big righty bat and emergency catcher. Posada and Chavez are lefty designated- and pinch-hitter options and backup infielders.

The only question is if the Yankees can manipulate the eligibility rules to get both Romine and Montero on the roster as neither was on the 40-man roster, never mind the 25-man, prior to September 1. One will be allowed as an injury replacement for Francisco Cervelli, but the other would have to be considered an injury replacement for someone like Justin Maxwell or Colin Curtis, minor league outfielders who never saw any major league action this year but are on the big league 60-day disabled list. That's pretty shady, but I suspect Montero will sneak in as a general "replacement hitter" by technicality.

That just leaves those last two pitcher spots to be determined. Both the Rangers and Tigers are righty-heavy lineups, so I don't imagine the Yankees would force the issue with a second lefty. I'd guess that if Colon pitches well tonight, he'll be the last man in the bullpen, and Game 3 will be started by either Freddy Garcia or A.J. Burnett, depending on what the Yankees think they see in their splits. My best guess is Garcia gets the spot as Game 3 would come on the road and Burnett's ERA has been nearly two runs worse outside of the Bronx this year.

My full projected ALDS roster, then, is below the jump. Anyone have a different take on it?

Starters:

1B - Mark Teixeira (S)
2B - Robinson Cano (L)
SS - Derek Jeter (R)
3B - Alex Rodriguez (R)
C - Russell Martin (R)
LF - Brett Gardner (L)
CF - Curtis Granderson (L)
RF - Nick Swisher (S)

Bench:

R - Andruw Jones (OF/DH)
L - Eric Chavez (3B/1B)
S - Jorge Posada (DH/1B)
R - Jesus Montero (DH/C)
R - Eduardo Nunez (UT)
L - Chris Dickerson (OF)
R - Austin Romine (C)

Rotation:

L - CC Sabathia
R - Ivan Nova
R - Freddy Garcia

Bullpen:

R - Mariano Rivera
R - David Robertson
R - Rafael Soriano
L - Boone Logan
R - Cory Wade
R - Luis Ayala
R - Bartolo Colon