The ALCS starts tonight and we now know who will be taking part for the Yankees.
The Yankees have released their roster for the upcoming series against the Astros, and it features a couple changes from the ALDS. Aaron Hicks and CC Sabathia have been added to the 25-man roster, while Luke Voit and Tyler Wade have been removed.
Aaron Hicks’ return is probably the biggest story from the announcement. The outfielder hasn’t played since August 3rd while dealing with a tendon injury in his elbow. It’s unclear what exactly his role will be, but it’s hard to see him unseating anyone in the outfield, at least to start the series. Even still, it’s a remarkable recovery considering that there were talks of him being done for the season a couple weeks ago.
As for Sabathia, his addition gives the Yankees an extra arm as they head into a longer series against a really good Astros offense. In all likelihood if he’s used, it will be out of the bullpen, as he was in his final regular season appearance.
As for those left off, it’s not a total shock that Voit was left off considering that there was talk of that before the ALDS. However, it would have been a shock had you told someone that early in the season.
Wade is less of a surprise, as he was only on the roster as a pinch runner/late inning defensive replacement who didn’t end up seeing any action against the Twins. One possible side effect of leaving Wade off the roster is that if the Yankees stick with the infield plus Edwin Encarnacion at DH, which they used in the ALDS, then there is no natural backup infielder on the roster. DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres do provide some amount of flexibility, but based on regular season performance, all five infielders on the roster would be expected starters.
One addition move came from the announcement, and that was that David Hale has been designated for assignment. Hale had been having a solid season before suffering an injury in July. He returned for one game in September, but was left off the ALDS roster. Based on what’s happened recently in his career, he will be picked up by the Twins, also DFA’d by them, and then picked up again by the Yankees.
Here is the roster in full:
The series kicks off tonight at 8 PM ET.