Ran into some troubles with this last time, so making the point clear. This is my playoff roster, not who I expect the Yankees to use. Here is the original post, but I will explain the changes I have made in this article.
The Yankees officially have clinched everything they possibly can heading into the playoffs. The Yankees brass is meeting today to decide who will make the playoff roster, and I think I should help. If Brian Cashman is reading this, here is how I think the Yankees playoff roster should look.
25 Players: (14 hitters, 11 pitchers)
Catcher- Russell Martin
Infield- Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez, Eric Chavez, Derek Jeter, Eduardo Nunez
Outfield- Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher, Andruw Jones, Chris Dickerson
DH- Jesus Montero, Jorge Posada
SP (in order)- CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Freddy Garcia
RP- Aaron Laffey/Luis Ayala, Bartolo Colon, Phil Hughes, Boone Logan, Cory Wade, Rafael Soriano, David Robertson, Mariano Rivera
Explanations after the jump.Changes:
Eduardo Nunez over Ramiro Pena: Yes, Ramiro Pena's defense is outstanding, but Pena struggled to make simple plays this week. Nunez dropped a perfect bunt the other day, while Pena could not. Nunez may be more prone to errors, (mentally and defensively) but his speed, bunting ability, and ability to at least not be awful at the plate is more like to help the Yankees than Pena's defense.
Chris Dickerson over Greg Golson: Dickerson and Golson were two players I watched very closely over the last week. Sure, it's a small sample size, but Dickerson excelled where Golson struggled. Dickerson is just the slightest bit slower than Golson, to the point that it barely makes a difference. Yet watching Golson, I noticed he seemed a little hesitant on the base paths. Golson would take a lead, then inch back, then inch forward, then almost get picked off. Golson also misjudged a few fly balls, to make a minor note.
Overall, it may be due to the lack of playing time that Golson has received to explain his minor struggles, but the Yankees have trained Dickerson for this role all year, so he should get it.
A.J. Burnett off the roster, Bartolo Colon to the bullpen: A.J. Burnett is the #4 starter in the ALCS for the Yankees, if it is up to me. Colon would remain the bullpen for the entire playoffs, so I give him a spot on the ALDS roster in that same role. Burnett can prepare for an ALCS start, if there is one, in Tampa, or with the team. This is not a punishment for Burnett, but rather deciding not to waste a spot on a pitcher that wouldn't be used anyway.
Freddy Garcia #3 starter: Simply put, Garcia has looked the most impressive of Colon/Garcia/Burnett, and does not seem to be fatigued, like Colon does.
Aaron Laffey/Luis Ayala instead of Hector Noesi/A.J. Burnett: Already explained Burnett, but this came down to match ups vs. lefties. Hector Noesi sports a .302 BAA vs. lefties, which is much worse than Luis Ayala's .245, and Aaron Laffey's .247. I don't think the Yankees need two lefties in the pen, but I think the Yankees need two pitchers, I don't care which hand they throw with, that can get lefties out.
Laffey can pitch long relief, Ayala has pitched better this season, but gives up tons of line drives. Either would be fine with me.