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  • Cary Greene

The Playoff Roster - Yankees

by Cary Greene

October 7, 2022

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Just how should the Yankees set up their playoffs roster? Answering the question involves building around the players who clearly earned their spot and also, unfortunately, current injuries need to be taken into account. September performance also factors in because let’s face it - the Yankees are trying to end a 12-year championship drought and there’s no room for ice cold duds on this year’s team.


On Offense:

Thirteen offensive players are needed to comprise the positional portion of the 2022 Yankees playoffs roster. The below group of nine players is made up of the players to build the roster around. If these players are available, they need to be on the roster. Given the offensive production of this group of players, Giancarlo Stanton would be asked to play the outfield so Matt Carpenter, if available to play, would be the DH. Meanwhile, Oswald Peraza would be the starting shortstop, with Oswaldo Cabrera serving as the utility player for both infield and outfield positions, including backing Peraza up at shortstop and perhaps even starting against right-handed pitching.


1. Matt Carpenter DH - likely unavailable

2. Aaron Judge CF-RF

3. Oswald Peraza SS-2B

4. Anthony Rizzo 1B

5. Gleyber Torres 2B

6. Giancarlo Stanton DH-Corner OF

7. Oswaldo Cabrera -UIF/UOF

8. DJ LeMahieu - 2B-3B-1B

9. Andrew Benintendi LF - questionable


Filling in the cracks and based on positional need, the next tier of Yankees in order compose the Yankees depth. Four spots remain to be filled and two additional replacements may also be needed.


Needed coverage includes (2) catchers, a pinch runner, and a centerfielder. In order, the next group of players that should be added to the roster are listed below. Tim Locastro could make the team as the fourth outfielder but the Yankees may prefer Harrison Bader’s defense and also like that fact that he’s easily a better baserunner than Locastro. Josh Donaldson is more valuable than any player not listed above, so he easily makes the roster.


10. Jose Trevino C

11. Kyle Higashioka C

12.Josh Donaldson 3B

13.Tim Locastro UOF - doesn’t play CF nor Pinch Run as well as Bader


Players that are injury replacements would be pulled from the next tier of players. There would be room for only 1 player from this group, assuming the two above groups of players are available.


One to two more spots are potentially available at this point and there are three players to choose from. Due to the versatility of the above two groups, the Yankees would and should favor defense and speed. They may also prioritize left-handed hitting. Therefore, it really does come down to Marwin Gonzalez, who is made redundant by Oswaldo Cabrera or Harrison Bader, who could be very valuable as a late game defensive replacement for Giancarlo Stanton, with Judge shifting to right field and Bader being inserted to center field. Therefore, Bader gets the nod as the first player added from this group and he may even leapfrog Locastro. If a second player is needed, it would likely be Isiah Kiner-Falefa, even though he doesn’t bat left-handed. The Yankees may opt for Gonzalez, in order to be more left-handed. Both players could be valuable if Benintendi and Carpenter are both no-goes and Locastro is kept off the roster.


Marwin Gonzalez UIF/UOF

Harrison Bader CF

Isiah Kiner Falefa SS, 2B, 3B


Starters:

This is a very easy decision, clearly the starters should be, in order, the four pitchers below.


1. Nestor Cortes Jr

2. Luis Severino

3. Gerrit Cole

4. Jameson Taillon


Relievers:

With 9 spots to fill here and factoring in injuries and ineffectiveness, here are the relievers, listed in order, who deserve a spot in the playoffs bullpen. Considering September to end of season performance, the Yankee bullpen will live or die with Jonathan Loaisiga, Scott Effross, Lou Trevino, and Lucas Leutge.


Getting Ron Marinaccio and Wandy Peralta back would be a big boost. It would be huge.


Given the lack of left-handness that plagues the Yankees bullpen and factoring in that Chapman has been effective in September and October, the and factoring in Johathan Loaisiga’s increased effectiveness, it would appear that in order, Miguel Castro, Domingo Germanand possibly Albert Abreu would be replacements for any relievers deemed unavailable.


1. Lou Trevino - 2.53 ERA down stretch, team’s best bridge reliever

2. Ron Marinaccio - questionable - 2.70 ERA down stretch

3. Scott Effros - 0.00 ERA down stretch, might be used as the closer (per Boone)

4. Clay Holmes - questionable - 3.55 ERA down stretch

5. Lucas Leutge *LHP - 2.61 ERA down the stretch

6. Wandy Peralta - questionable - 2.70 ERA down stretch but hasn’t pitched since Sept. 18th

7. Clarke Schmidt - 3.54 ERA down the stretch

8. Albert Abreu - only recently called back up

9. Domingo German - 4.20 ERA down stretch

10. Miguel Castro - 4.50 ERA in two October appearances, otherwise hasn’t pitched since July 10

11. Jonathan Loaisiga - 1.72 ERA down stretch, may also wind up closing

12. Aroldis Chapman *LHP - 3.18 ERA down stretch

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