Friday, September 29, 2017

Yankees Potential Wild Card Game Roster

The New York Yankees are in the postseason and despite the hopes, dreams and optimism by many including myself it will be as a Wild Card winner. The good news is that Yankee Stadium will play host to the game between them and the Minnesota Twins but the bad news is that anything, and I mean anything, can happen in a one-game playoff. The Yankees can only do what they can do and take care of business on the field but what happens on the field may be directly related and linked to what manager Joe Girardi and his coaching staff is undoubtedly talking about right now off the field, the roster. The Yankees can bring 25 men with them to the Bronx to play host to the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday, October 3 but what 25 men will they bring? I’m so very glad you asked…  

The team has a number of “locks” for the postseason Wild Card round. These locks are below:  

Gary Sanchez
Greg Bird
Starlin Castro
Didi Gregorius
Todd Frazier
Brett Gardner
Jacoby Ellsbury
Aaron Judge
Austin Romine
Luis Severino
Dellin Betances
David Robertson
Chad Green
Tommy Kahnle
Aroldis Chapman 

The team also has a number of players who are very likely to make the roster, which are laid out below: 

Chase Headley
Chasen Shreve
Masahiro Tanaka
Sonny Gray
CC Sabathia
Ronald Torreyes
Jordan Montgomery
Jaime Garcia 

By my unofficial count that is 22 of the available 25 roster spots leading me to wonder what will the Yankees do with the remaining three spots? By the way I am aware that both Jordan Montgomery and Jaime Garcia would likely be unavailable due to pitching on Saturday and Sunday respectively but pitchers throw in between starts and at this point in the season I could see manager Girardi try to get an inning out of both if he could, say if the game went into extra innings or something like that. Remember, this roster is just for this one game. A new set of rosters is chosen if and when the Yankees make it to the American League Division Series.

Tyler Wade is a name that is being thrown around as teams love to have speedy base runners and defensive specialists on the bench for late-game situations. Another name that has been thrown around is Clint Frazier who has not only provided a spark for the Yankees on the field but Frazier is also someone who has molded into the team chemistry off the field and inside the clubhouse as well. Matt Holliday was signed to be the team’s everyday DH in 2017 and was doing well until a bout with the Epstein-Barr virus zapped him of his conditioning and energy. Holliday could be brought on as a power threat off the bench late in a game but the final spots may go mainly to pitching. You can never have enough pitching and with that in mind the Yankees may take a long look at one of Bryan Mitchell, Ben Heller and Jonathan Holder, all assuming that Adam Warren isn’t back from injury by then. Warren was activated today but I always remain cautiously optimistic until they have a few innings under their belt after returning from injury, especially for a back injury. 

None of the three arms have pitched much at all this month for Girardi but one of them has pitched better than the rest in an extremely small sample size and that’s Ben Heller. Girardi is a very “what have you done for me lately” kind of manager with his young guns so I can see Heller getting the spot over Giovanny Gallegos, Domingo German or the other two men mentioned previously.

In my opinion the final three spots will go to Matt Holliday (because Girardi loves his veterans), Tyler Wade (because Girardi loves his base stealers and playing a National League type game from time-to-time), and Ben Heller. Again this is all subject to change if Adam Warren is deemed ready to go by next Tuesday, if he is then the North Carolina product will get the ball. Stay tuned. 

Leave your thoughts below in the comments section. 

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