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Yankees mailbag: Playoff formats, season stats, and minor leaguers

Get the answer’s to this week’s mailbag right here.

Philadelphia Phillies v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Good morning everyone, get your answers to this week’s mailbag here. Remember to send in your questions for our weekly call by e-mail to pinstripealleyblog [at] gmail [dot] com.

Steve asks: I have heard a rumor floated that MLB may institute a caveat where the lower seed in the play-in series MUST win Game 1, otherwise the higher seed wins. This seems to be a fair adjustment, and seeing that this portion of the playoffs was not instituted until the season started anyways, do you see this as a possible adjustment that could be made?

Unfortunately I don’t, because of one key distinction. The adjustment that MLB made in instituting expanded playoffs actually didn’t happen during the season, they had a deadline of right before the Yankees and Nationals officially “started” the year to get the agreement done. They made it in before the deadline, and thus the expansion was passed.

I like the idea of a weighted series in favor of the higher seed, considering that home-field advantage is less of a factor with no fans, but I wouldn’t add it if the system is carried over to 2021. It would be an interesting adjustment for the Wild Card games, however, since having only one game has always felt excruciating for the team that lost. It’s something to consider, for sure, but we won’t see it this year.

EasyRider28 asks: If by chance this season is cancelled prior to the playoffs, will players’ career stats include their 2020 regular season stats?

Yup! Everything that is recorded in this regular season counts, even if we don’t make it to the postseason or the World Series. Should someone hit .400 this year it would go down in their career log, for instance, though people would probably stick an asterisk on that even if the whole season was played.

imramet asks: Can we get a rundown, to the best of your ability to find out, just what the Yankees are doing for their minor league guys this year?

Not much news on the minor leaguers has come out since their season was suspended. We know that the players who were selected to the alternate training site are getting paid their pro-rated salaries for this season, but there’s a lot of guys who didn’t make the cut for that roster. Baseball America has kept track of what teams have pledged to pay their prospects, and for how long, and unfortunately the Yankees are one of two teams that only committed a $400 weekly stipend until July 31st. That date has come and gone with no update, so for now we can only assume that the team isn’t paying them at the moment.