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The Bronx Tales: Opinion - The ideal postseason roster for the Yankees.

I don't like counting the chickens before they hatch, but it's starting to get to that point. Were four series away until playoff baseball and the Yankees are assembling to get their Chase for 28 in gear. After a historic start followed by concerning struggles, the Yankees are in the position to win the AL East and secure the 2nd overall spot in the American League (barring any changes with the Astros, Blue Jays, and Rays).

As the team starts to return to full health, the questions are beginning to circulate on who makes the 26 playoff man roster?

Per the MLB Rules, teams submit a 26-man roster prior to each round of the postseason comprised of postseason-eligible players. A club may request permission from the Commissioner's Office to replace a player who is injured during the course of a series, but that player is then ineligible for the rest of that round and the subsequent round, if there is one. A pitcher may be replaced only by another pitcher, and a position player only by another position player. Teams carry extra players throughout the postseason in the event of injuries, and those players, as well as players on the injured list, can be in the dugout during games, within reason.

The magic number is 8, and you already know Aaron Boone is formulating the squad behind the scenes. So with that being said, here is my ideal playoff roster.


Infielders (6)

  • Anthony Rizzo: 1B

  • DJ LeMahieu: INF

  • Gleyber Torres: 2B

  • Isiah Kiner-Falefa: SS

  • Josh Donaldson: 3B

  • Matt Carpenter: INF/OF (Injured - Replaced by Ron Marinaccio: Bullpen)

Odd Men Out

  • Marwin Gonzalez: INF/OF

  • Oswald Peraza: SS/2B

This is the infield as we have seen it all year. Rizzo returned to the lineup, while we ares still waiting for LeMahieu. When both those guys are fully inserted and fully healthy, pitchers better beware. Marwin could make the roster, but it's a long shot in my eyes, especially when the team has more valuable talent.

Peraza is too young and not being utilized to get a spot on this roster. I think he should be considered, but the Yankees are keeping him on a short leash, which sucks. I hope the Yankees have him on the taxi squad and allow him to witness the playoffs from the bench, just like they did with Jeter in 1995, to allow him to get a taste of what's to come, but that's just me dreaming.

Outfielders (5)

  • Aaron Judge: CF/RF

  • Harrison Bader: CF

  • Oswaldo Cabrera: LF/RF

  • Giancarlo Stanton: DH/RF/LF

  • Andrew Benintendi: LF (Injured - Replaced by Aaron Hicks: LF/CF)

Odd Men Out

  • Aaron Hicks: CF/LF (If Benintendi cannot play)

  • Tim Locastro: OF

  • Miguel Andujar: OF/INF

  • Estevan Florial: OF

If the team is healthy, Hicks is out, it's as simple as that. However, it all depends on Andrew Benintendi. Boone said that “they should know in about 7-10 days if Benintendi can return this year.” I am praying he can join the team. Having a guy like that anchoring the corner outfield spots, plus bringing his playoff experience is ideal.

Andujar and Florial haven't show any implication why they should be up. I think Locastro is the highest on the pecking order if called upon, strictly for stealing bases. His sprint speed of 30.2 feet per second is truly top of the line, fifth fastest in all of baseball this season.

Catcher (2)

  • Jose Trevino

  • Kyle Higashioka

Barring any injury, these are the duo that are manning behind the plate. I am ,hoping for some Jose magic during this postseason run, both defensively and at the bottom of the lineup.

Starting Pitchers (4)

  • Gerrit Cole: 1

  • Nestor Cortes: 2

  • Luis Severino: 3

  • Jameson Taillon: 4/Long Relief

This is the only correct answer in my eyes. Gerrit Cole was elected as the game one starter regardless of the matchup. Nestor gets game two, while Sevy and his experience rounds out the top three.

I have Taillon as the 4th starter and long relief, but he makes the team, if not ALDS, then most definitely ALCS.

Bullpen Pitchers (9)

  • Domingo German: Long Relief

  • Lucas Luetge: Bullpen

  • Luis Trivino: Bullpen

  • Scott Effros: Bullpen

  • Clarke Schmidt: Bullpen

  • Jonathan Loáisiga: Bullpen

  • Wandy Peralta: Bullpen/Setup/Closer

  • Aroldis Chapman: Bullpen/Setup/Closer

  • Clay Holmes: Setup/Closer

Odd Men Out

  • Ron Marinaccio: Bullpen (If Carpenter cannot play)

  • Greg Weissert: Bullpen

  • Frankie Montas: Starter/Long Relief

Injured / Could Make A Push

  • Miguel Castro: Bullpen

  • Zack Britton: Bullpen

  • Albert Abreu: Bullpen

  • Stephen Ridings: Bullpen

It's hard to count on the four guys who are injured. All would provide some much needed support and value to the bullpen, but they are just rehabbing now. Can't count on them just yet, especially on how crucial the bullpen can be in a playoff series.

There are folks that have Chapman off the roster. While I don't disagree, I just can't see the Yankees doing that, despite his struggles.

If Carpenter isn't available, I have Marinaccio taking his spot, which probably will happen. I would have included him over Leutge, but Lucas being a lefty, gives him the nod. Clarke Schmidt has to be on this roster, no questions at this time. He might be the most versatile pitcher on the team.

Montas does not have a spot on this team as of now. His shoulder inflammation and just struggles since being acquired is not worth the risk in a playoff spot.

I opted for adding Domingo and Taillon to the bullpen, because they provide more certainty in long relief if the starters fumble the bag.

The biggest question of them all, who the hell is the closer?! It's so odd even typing this, because it should confidently be the All-Star Clay Holmes. But as of late? I wouldn't count on it. Chapman is not the answer. So either Wandy, Trivino, or Effross, which are hefty shoes to asked to be filled.


Starting Lineup and Final Thoughts

  1. DJ LeMahieu: 3B

  2. Anthony Rizzo: 1B

  3. Aaron Judge: RF

  4. Giancarlo Stanton: DH

  5. Gleyber Torres: 2B

  6. Oswaldo Cabrera: LF

  7. Harrison Bader: CF

  8. Isiah Kiner-Falefa: SS

  9. Jose Trevino: C

This is just my prediction. I am kind of at a loss what to do, and that's a good problem to have.

If all healthy, Benny would get the nod in left if he is back, and Carpenter I would assume be DH. So would a playoff outfield be Benny/Judge/Stanton? Or Benny/Bader/Judge with Stanton at DH? But Cabrera has been lights out on both sides of the ball, so how do you fit him in?

Brenda Kuty of has Stanton in left, Torres DH'ing, and Donaldson at 3rd. I don't hate that either.

These are the tough decisions Aaron Boone will have to make. Let's say Benintendi and Carpenter are out of the ALDS, that leaves a bench of Hicks, Donaldson, Higashioka.

It gets so tough when the lineup is full. DJLM is too valuable not to play, but Stanton has to be DH, and Torres has to be in the lineup (and only playing 2nd). However, I left the bench very thin, which again, does Marwin or Peraza get the bump over an extra reliever?

The biggest glare in my eyes is who is going to be called upon to be the pinch runner? If Benintendi is back, the easy answer is Bader/Cabrera combo, if not, then Aaron Hicks gets the nod their.

On paper, and performance biases, this is an absolute squad top to bottom. If they perform like they did earlier this year, with the flare they have had in September, I hope we can end with popping champagne in October.

The Chase for 28 is coming soon.


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