We’re hours from the start of the ALCS between New York and Houston, and the Yankees have released the 26-man roster that will take on the Astros. Here’s the group who will aim to capture New York’s first pennant since 2009:
Catchers: Jose Trevino, Kyle Higashioka (2)
Infielders: Anthony Rizzo, Gleyber Torres, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Oswald Peraza, Josh Donaldson (5)
Outfielders: Oswaldo Cabrera, Harrison Bader, Aaron Judge, Tim Locastro (4)
Designated Hitters: Giancarlo Stanton, Matt Carpenter (2)
Starting rotation: Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes, Luis Severino, Jameson Taillon (4)
Bullpen: Jonathan Loáisiga, Lou Trivino, Clay Holmes, Wandy Peralta, Greg Weissert, Miguel Castro, Frankie Montas, Clarke Schmidt, Domingo Germán (9)
With Aaron Hicks going down with a knee injury in Game 5 of the ALDS, the Yankees were always going to have at least one roster spot to fill. That would appear to go to Oswald Peraza, who gives the Yankees some flexibility. Peraza can start at short, allowing Oswaldo Cabrera to stay in left field. Peraza could also be a backup infield option and pinch-running weapon if the Yankees started Cabrera (or Isiah Kiner-Falefa) at shortstop.
On the pitching side, Frankie Montas enters the fold. The right-hander went down in mid-September with a right shoulder ailment, but was able to face live hitters in Tampa last week. It’s likely he’ll work as some sort of opener or reliever, should he see action in this series.
Aaron Boone said Frankie Montas will be used as a reliever. He’s not expected to give length out of the pen. Boone said Montas has looked “really good.”— Chris Kirschner (@ChrisKirschner) October 19, 2022
Montas totaled a 4.05 ERA in 144.1 innings this year, but struggled mightily after coming over to New York in a midseason trade, recording a 6.35 ERA in 39.2 innings as a Yankee.
Also added to the staff is Greg Weissert. The 27-year-old rookie is a bit of an upside play. He was hit for seven runs in his 11.1 big league innings this year, but still impressed with his live, 95-mph fastball and bendy slider. Weissert’s Triple-A numbers auger hope, with the right-hander striking out 70 batters with a 1.69 ERA in 49 innings.
Montas and Weissert take the place of Lucas Luetge and Marwin Gonzalez on the roster. With Tim Locastro in the fold, the Yankees still have an outfield backup, and Peraza renders Gonzalez redundant as a reserve infielder (it’s also a sign that the team is comfortable with Cabrera or Carpenter at first base in an emergency). Luetge didn’t appear in the ALDS, with Aaron Boone seemingly putting more trust in his other relief options.
Absent are Ron Marinaccio and Andrew Benintendi. Marinaccio went down late in the season with a stress fracture in his shin, but had been working in Tampa facing live batters the past week. Boone said that the team just didn’t feel comfortable enough with how he looked in his rehab.
Aaron Boone said Ron Marinaccio was a close call to be on the ALCS roster but they feel his delivery is still compromised by the shin injury.— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) October 19, 2022
Benintendi suffered a wrist injury in early September, and is reportedly still feeling pain. The Yankees will surely continue to eye their respective recoveries in the case that the team advances to the World Series.