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The Tuesday Discussion: Name Your 28-Man Roster

August 31, 2021

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This is a straightforward topic.

We asked our writers to simply list their 28-man expanded roster for the 2021 Yankees.

Let’s see what the writers say…

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Paul Semendinger:


Aaron Judge


Giancarlo Stanton


Brett Gardner


Joey Gallo


Anthony Rizzo


Luke Voit


D.J. LeMahieu


Gleyber Torres


Gio Urshela


Gary Sanchez


Kyle Higashioka


Tyler Wade


Rougned Odor


Andrew Velazquez


Estevan Florial


Gerrit Cole


Jameson Taillon


Nestor Cortes


Jordan Montgomery


Corey Kluber


Aroldis Chapman


Wandy Peralta


Chad Green


Jonathan Loaisiga


Clay Holmes


Lucas Luetge


Joely Rodriguez


Luis Gil

NOTES: I won’t discuss the easy names here. In constructing this roster, I wanted to keep Tyler Wade, Rougned Odor, and Andrew Velazquez with the big club. With Gleyber Torres coming back, this is an abundance of infielders, but I they’ve all been big contributors: Odor with power and flexibility, Wade with speed and defense, Velazquez with defense. The fact that Wade can also play outfield helps with some of the crunch. I’d also recall Estevan Florial because I’d like him to experience the pennant race and I have hopes that he’s a possible starter in 2022. I also feel 13 pitchers is enough – more than enough. The only real surprises with my pitching staff would be that Corey Kluber takes Andrew Heaney’s spot and that Luis Gil takes Albert Abreu’s. I do not believe Luis Severino will be back – and I’d even advise the Yankees to not rush him. If he can be as good as we all hope he can be, his long term health should take priority over any short-term gain he can provide at this point in 2021.

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Cary Greene:

The question that pains me to answer has been asked. Our readers deserve this discussion and we as writers need to take the question as asked. The question doesn’t read, “Who Do You Think the Yankees Will Put on the 25 Man Roster.” The question reads instead, “List YOUR 28-Man Roster for September”

With that said, I have to imagine putting the Yankees in the very best position to win baseball games and I know that continuing to carry 7 infielders isn’t the best use of resources. I also know that there are players the Yankees aren’t utilizing right now that would take this roster over the top. If making the hard decisions equates to one more win in the next 30 games, then this is a job that cannot be taken lightly.

We’ll start with the Pitchers. Corey Kluber is returning Monday. Luis Severino’s return is far from a certainty. I’m promoting Luis Gil for the stretch run and one bad start from “nasty” Nestor would move Cortes to the bullpen and Jameson Taillon would get a crack at his spot. The same would hold true for Gil. Meanwhile, Kluber would get as long as he needs to round into playoff form.

Starters


Gerrit Cole – staff ace


Corey Kluber – let him work back into form


Jordan Montgomery – earned my trust, will be starting playoff games also


Nestor Cortes – I’m rolling with Nasty Nestor


Luis Gil – Kid is absolutely starting every game I can set him up with

Relievers


Chad Green – high leverage guy but not a closer


Jonathan Loasiga – high leverage guy, possible closer at times


Lucas Luetge – key bridge guy


Clay Holmes – righty specialist, cool with high leverage situations


Wandy Peralta – first guy I turn to when a lefty is needed


Aroldis Chapman – not my guaranteed closer, but the closer none the less


Joely Rodriguez – lefty specialist who needs to step it up


Jameson Taillon – long man who may yet get further starts


Albert Abreu – his control concerns me in high pressure, big game situations


Andrew Heaney – insurance and long man as needed

Infielders – Rougned Odor was the odd-man out here. I plan on playing Tyler Wade more and the team has enough home run or bust guys on it already. Odor is striking out one time in every three at bats and his defense is sub par. I can live without him, though I think he played an awesome role this year, he is unconditionally released as of Monday.


Anthony Rizzo – Starts at first base from here on out


Luke Voit – Starts at DH


DJ LeMahieu – Starts at second base


Andrew Velazquez – Starts at shortstop


Gio Urshela – Starts at third base


Tyler Wade – plays more, meaning spot starts to rest Urshela, Velazquez and LeMahieu

Outfielders


Aaron Judge – duh


Giancarlo Stanton – starts more in right field


Joey Gallo – duh


Greg Allen – duh, he’s my game changer and I’m playing him as much as possible, Currently destroying Triple-A Pitching .323 avg ,918 OPS, soo, yeah


Brett Gardner – Not pulling the plug on a great Yankee career, he has earned the right to carry his sword to the battlefield. Helps uber balance the lineup now too and can bat 7th or 9th. Love Gardy. .286/.397/.446/.843 for the month of August.

Catchers


Kyle Higashioka – I’m going to play him a bit more down the stretch.


Gary Sanchez – Will play plenty.

NOTE – I deliberately left Gleyber Torres out of my conversation because I believe he needs a rehab assignment at this point so he’s still at least a week or more away from coming back. When he does come back I would drop a pitcher, probably Heaney. Also, it was tempting to look at Stephen Ridings but there just isn’t a spot for him unless releasing Heaney was an option and it really isn’t because what if Kluber gets re-injured? I also stayed away from Domingo German completely and he could easily be inserted in Abreu’s spot. I think how the Yankees carve up the pitching portion of the roster is probably the single most impactful thing they can do down the stretch.

The boldest moves I made were starting Gil and Cortes at the expense of Taillon and of course I stuck with Velazquez at shortstop.

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Chris O’Connor:

I am assuming Corey Kluber and Domingo German are healthy, and I still do not think the Yankees should expect anything from Luis Severino and Zack Britton this year. I will leave them off.

C: Gary Sanchez, Kyle Higashioka

OF: Aaron Judge, Joey Gallo, Giancarlo Stanton, Brett Gardner

IF: Gio Urshela, Gleyber Torres, DJ LeMahieu, Anthony Rizzo, Luke Voit, Rougned Odor, Tyler Wade

Pitchers: Gerrit Cole, Corey Kluber, Jameson Taillon, Jordan Montgomery, Nelson Cortes, Domingo German, Jonathan Loaisiga, Chad Green, Aroldis Chapman, Clay Holmes, Lucas Luetge, Wandy Peralta, Joely Rodriguez, Luis Gil, Andrew Heaney.

I think the Yankees carry 15 pitchers because their key guys (Loaisiga and Green in particular) have accumulated heavy workloads and can use all the rest they can get. There were not too many tough calls, but one that I struggled with was Andrew Heaney, Albert Abreu, and Luis Gil for two spots. I went with Heaney not because I have tremendous trust in him, but he can provide long relief, make a spot start, and eat innings. Gil can provide similar length, and if he is regulated to a bullpen role, he has flashed the stuff of a guy who can breeze through an inning. Abreu is more of a 1-2 inning pitcher, and I think Gil has more upside. With the position players, I think Wade provides enough versatility in both the infield and outfield to the point where I think a player like Greg Allen or Jonathan Davis becomes redundant.

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Ed Botti;

Since Gleyber Torres does not appear to be ready to be re-activated by September 1, I will leave him off of my 28 man roster. That will be a tough decision to make later this week as far as who goes when he is activated.

They have 3 off days, (Sept 2nd, 23rd, & 27th) between today and October 3, and as of now, no double headers.

With 13 of the games against the Blue Jays, Red Sox and Rays, I want solid defense and speed, as these most likely will be tight games.

I would plan on exploiting the arms and pop time of Reese McGuire, Christian Vazquez and Mike Zunino as much as possible. In other words, a lot of pressure on the base paths.

I am activating Kluber from the IL and bringing Gil back and sending down Abreu for a 14 man staff.

I would have liked to have found a way of adding Stephen Ridings, but decided to keep Rodriguez and Heaney.

Since Kluber is back, Heaney is an option if a 6th starter is needed, along with Gil.

I will add speed and defense by bringing up Greg Allen for late inning defense and pinch running situations. If any of the Sept and October games go extra innings, I want him available for pinch running and defense.

As the month goes on, if healthy I will bring back German, Severino and Britton (not looking to promising) and Torres.

For now, I want the 7 infielders and 5 outfielders for versatility and flexibility, Wade is a swing man I can use in outfield and infield.

That leaves them with 9 arms in the bullpen, options for a 6th starter, balance, power, speed and defense.

I toyed with the idea of going with a 13 man staff and adding Florial or Davis, but decided to go with the extra arm.

Now it’s up to them to play clean, crisp and fundamental baseball for the final 30 games of the 2021 regular season:



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***

Ethan Semendinger –

table.tableizer-table { font-size: 12px; border: 1px solid #CCC; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; } .tableizer-table td { padding: 4px; margin: 3px; border: 1px solid #CCC; } .tableizer-table th { background-color: #104E8B; color: #FFF; font-weight: bold; }Pitchers Hitters/Fielders No.PlayerPositionTaxiNo.PlayerPositionTaxi1Gerrit ColeSP 1Gary SanchezC 2Corey KluberSP 2Kyle HigashiokaC 3Jameson TaillonSP 3Anthony Rizzo1B 4Jordan MontgomerySP 4Luke Voit1B 5Nestor Cortes Jr.SP 5DJ LeMahieu2B 6Andrew HeaneySP/RP 6Gleyber TorresSS 7Albert AbreuRPYes7Gio Urshela3B 8Clay HolmesRP 8Roughned OdorINF 9Lucas LuetgeRP 9Andrew VelazquezINFYes10Joely RodriguezRP 10Aaron JudgeOF 11Wandy PeraltaRP 11Giancarlo StantonOF 12Jonathan LoaisigaRP (HL) 12Joey GalloOF 13Chad GreenRP 13Brett GardnerOF 14Aroldis ChapmanCL 14Tyler WadeOF/INF ————————15Luis GilSPYes15Jonathan DavisYesYes16Michael KingSP/RPYes16Estevan FlorialYesYes17Nick NelsonRPYes

The Yankees have very little positional flexibility with the 28-Man Roster for September and only have (by my count) 2 players who are really available for a “taxi squad” type role in Andrew Velazquez and Albert Abreu. While I would like to add pitchers Clay Holmes and Joely Rodriguez to the taxi squad, they are out of minor league options, thus securing a spot with the MLB team. I’d also not bring up Gil yet as I want him to be getting consistent time as a starter in Triple-A and him coming up if the Yankees need him to be in that role. Albert Abreu has also earned his MLB reliever role (something the Yankees greatly need right now).

While I am very heavy on my infield (and I’m factoring in Gleyber Torres being with the team), I don’t think that the Yankees greatly need an OF reserve player like Davis or Florial right now. Tyler Wade can take the position as the 5th OF while Andrew Velazquez should be the #1 behind Gleyber Torres for the defensive prowess at shortstop and his occasional clutch hit. (Plus, his story is hard to not get behind and it allows Gleyber time to ease back into the role playing the starter role and getting 7 innings through September.) Wade would also split time with Odor for finding the occasional start around protecting Urshela (also coming off an injury) and giving DJ a day off. Rizzo and Voit have first base and DH (with Stanton) locked down from here on out.

Andy Singer:

Infield


Sanchez


Higashioka


Rizzo


Voit


LeMahieu


Urshela


Torres


Odor


Wade


Velazquez

Outfield


Judge


Stanton


Gallo


Gardner

Starting Pitchers


Cole


Montgomery


Taillon


Cortes Jr.


Kluber

Relief/Bulk Pitchers


Chapman


Loaisiga


Green


Gil


Heaney


Peralta


Rodriguez


Holmes


Abreu

A few quick notes regarding my 28-man roster. For this exercise, I assumed that German and Severino are both still away on rehab assignments. Should they both become available, Velazquez and/or one of Rodriguez or Holmes would come off the board. Secondly, it feels like I’ve listed too many infielders…but I think that’s because the Yankee roster as currently constructed is infield-heavy. If you told me you wanted Greg Allen over Velazquez in September, I wouldn’t argue with you. You’ll also note that I added Albert Abreu over Lucas Luetge. The Yankees have found better match-up pitchers in Peralta and Rodriguez, making Luetge superfluous, so I’d rather have the high-upside righty. Lastly, I have both Gil and Heaney on the roster as “bulk” pitchers. Both can throw in tandem with Kluber and Cortes Jr. to add significant value over shorter stints of 2-4 innings. I think they’re both auditioning for bulk roles in October, which would really lengthen the pitching staff in a playoff scenario. Sevy and German could both carve out similar roles if they return…I’m feeling less optimistic on that point than I have at any point this season, so it’s Gil and Heaney’s job to lose.

Comments


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