Friday, September 16, 2016

Playoff Roster Prediction if Yankees Make Postseason

The chances that the New York Yankees make the postseason are not great on paper, nobody can deny that, but the team has proven that it’s not going down without a fight and that they are at least going to let the league know that they mean business. If New York were to slip into the 2nd Wild Card slot or even jump three teams to take the division crown, and with three games left with Boston this series including tonight I don’t see why that’s not a possibility, they would be one of the hottest and most dangerous teams in the postseason in my opinion. Let’s have a little fun this morning, it’s Friday and that’s what Friday’s were made for, and assume that the season is over today and the Yankees are headed to the postseason. What would their playoff roster look like? 

Aaron Judge is out for the regular season and unless the Yankees went beyond a play-in game in the Wild Card round of the playoffs it seems unlikely that Judge will play again this season leaving the outfield with Jacoby Ellsbury in center, Brett Gardner in left and probably Tyler Austin in right field as far as the starters go. Mark Teixeira is your first baseman along with the usual suspects in Starlin Castro, Didi Gregorius, Brian McCann, Chase Headley, Gary Sanchez but not newcomer Billy Butler. Butler will not be postseason eligible since he was not on the Yankees 40 man roster before the end of the August 31st trading deadline.

The rotation is not set and some jockeying of positions would be needed if the Yankees were to make the postseason. Masahiro Tanaka started last night and will make starts in Tampa Bay on September 21, in Toronto on September 26, in the Bronx on October 1st making him unavailable on normal rest for the American league Wild Card Game on October 4th. CC Sabathia is the one now lined up to pitch on normal rest in that game as it stands today. Now if the Yankees were to win that game and if they didn’t move their rotation around, and trust me if the playoffs were more of a sure thing then they would, Tanaka would be available to start Game 1 of the American League Division Series on October 6th. If the Yankees made it the ALDS you would have to think that CC Sabathia, Luis Cessa and Michael Pineda would be listed as the other starting pitchers on the roster. 

Bryan Mitchell would head to the bullpen along with Dellin Betances, Chasen Shreve, Adam Warren, Luis Severino and Tyler Clippard. I would also bring Tommy Layne and use him as a LOOGY only after he has proven capable of getting left-handed hitters out at an effective rate. 

On the bench I would have Brian McCann as stated above while I also bring Rob Refsnyder, Eric Young Jr., Aaron Hicks assuming his health (and all signs point to him being back by then barring a setback in his rehab from a hamstring injury) and Ronald Torreyes to fill out the roster. 

This isn’t a roster that is going to blow everyone out and win 10-0 in three or four games and move on. This is not a juggernaut team but this is a team that more resembles the 1995, 1996 and 1998 teams than the “juggernauts” in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2012 and all those other heavy offense and veteran pitcher laden teams of the 2000’s. This team is scrappy and it’s built to win, now. Just have to get there first. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)