The Yankees announced their Wild Card Game roster this morning as the team gears up for their biggest game in two years. The names on the 25-man roster are much of what you had expected, although there is a surprise or two. Here is the full list of who will be in pinstripes tonight:
Yankees announce 2017 AL Wild Card Game roster. First pitch vs. the Twins at 8:00 p.m. on ESPN. pic.twitter.com/yJHA74IYkT— Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) October 3, 2017
Joe Girardi and the Yanks have armed themselves with 10 pitchers tonight, including the obvious starter in Luis Severino. You can also find Sonny Gray and CC Sabathia on the roster for tonight. All of the obvious relievers are present, including Adam Warren, which is a good sign given his absence from the team for almost all of September as he recovered from a back injury.
Warren could be helpful as an added bullpen arm, especially given the recent struggles of Dellin Betances, who has had plenty of trouble finding the strike zone lately. Ideally, Girardi would like a strong six innings from Severino, and go to Chad Green, David Robertson and Aroldis Chapman as his main bullpen options. A healthy Warren represents a solid reinforcement if things don’t go according to plan.
So, why add starters on the roster like Sabathia, who just pitched on Saturday and will likely be the Yankees’ Game Two starter should they advance to face Cleveland? Well, Sweeny Murti shined some light as to where Sabathia can come in handy tonight:
CC Sabathia is on this roster because??— Sweeny Murti (@YankeesWFAN) October 3, 2017
Joe Mauer vs CC: 10-for-52 (.192) with 20 strikeouts.
Could be called on for 1 big out.
Should Severino be nearing the end of his outing and a tough lefty like Mauer is up with runners on, turning to Sabathia could be an interesting option. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that.
In terms of position players, the only minor surprise is behind the plate, as the Yanks have elected to carry only two catchers. The Yankees carried three catchers in the 2015 Wild Card Game, and with all the talk around the defense of Gary Sanchez, it was interesting to see who Girardi would elect to have at his disposal behind the plate. Of course, Sanchez was always going to be the starting catcher (anything else would have been ridiculous), and who exactly could the Yanks carry as a third catcher tonight? Erik Kratz?
Aside from the catcher and pitcher positions, there’s not much else to see here. Clint Frazier and Tyler Wade are two youngsters who (not surprisingly) made the cut. Matt Holliday is the only listed DH, but we will have to see how the Yankees construct their starting lineup. Holliday’s playing time has decreased dramatically since battling injury and illness, but he does have very solid numbers against Santana. Will that be enough to get him a spot in the lineup?