The Yankees released their playoff roster and set their rotation for the first 3 games of the ALDS this morning, and there were no real surprises. Let’s take a quick look at the roster, courtesy of Sam Borden:
Pitchers: Sabathia, Pettitte, Hughes, Burnett, Mitre, Moseley, Logan, Robertson, Chamberlain, Wood, Rivera
Catchers: Posada, Cervelli
Infielders: Teixeira, Cano, Jeter, Rodriguez, Berkman, Pena
Outfielders: Swisher, Granderson, Gardner, Thames, Kearns, Golson
I predicted 23 of these 25 yesterday, with Ramiro Pena replacing Eduardo Nunez and Dustin Moseley in for Ivan Nova. The final roster makes it clear that Girardi used the last two games against Boston to audition guys like Nova, Ring, Moseley, and Sergio Mitre, with players such as Chad Gaudin and Javier Vazquez having already failed their auditions earlier in the week. I am quite glad Joe resisted the allure of taking Ring, as I would greatly prefer a decent righty to an awful lefty, particularly because the lefty might actually get used in fairly important spots.
As for the rotation, the Yankees announced that CC Sabathia will start Game 1, Andy Pettitte Game 2, and Phil Hughes Game 3. This leaves AJ Burnett out in the cold, and sets up CC to pitch Game 4 on 3 days rest and Andy Pettitte for a pivotal Game 5. There was a strong argument for having Hughes pitch Game 2, as he has great road numbers and the Twins large new park could help marginalize his flyball tendencies. However, if the Yankees believe that Andy is healthy, he is ultimately the better pitcher and allows the Yankees to start lefties against the Twins’ lefty-powered lineup in 4 of 5 games. Both arguments are valid and Joe could not have gone wrong with either position. Setting up Andy Pettitte for a potential Game 5 is a perfectly reasonable decision.
Would you have constructed the roster and/or the rotation differently?
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