Yankees, Cole, MLB Playoffs, postseason roster, New York Yankees

Dissecting the Yankees postseason roster: Do they have what it takes to capture 28?

After clinching the American League East Division for the 20th time in franchise history, the New York Yankees advance to the big dance with one goal in mind: The Chase for 28.

“It’s always a grind, it’s always hard, it’s always hard in this division, I think especially this year, and to be the team that was the best in our division, there’s some satisfaction in that, but we want to win it all,” said Yankees Manager, Aaron Boone.

As the Yankees sit on a bye over the next five days, the Rays (No. 6 seed) will face the Guardians (No. 3) in a best-of-three Wild Card Series beginning Friday. The Yankees will take on the winner of that series at Yankee Stadium in the American League Division Series starting Tuesday, October 11.

Now that the stage has been set, one big question remains. With 26 spots on the postseason roster, who makes the cut?

Who makes the cut?

Players in bold are those who I believe could be in question, not necessarily who I think should be discarded.

Catchers (2)

Jose Trevino, Kyle Higashioka

Infielders (6)

Josh Donaldson, Isaiah Kiner-Falefa, Marwin Gonzalez, DJ LeMahieu, Oswald Peraza, Anthony Rizzo, Gleyber Torres

If you ask me, the Yankees are set with this squad, with the exception of Marwin Gonzalez. He's certainly in the talks, but I don't believe he will make the postseason squad. Realistically, though, whether or not Oswald Peraza makes the cut is questionable. Peraza was summoned from Scranton Wilkes-Barre in early Sept., but with a handful of starts in Josh Donaldson’s paternity list absence and a few pinch-hits/pinch-runs here and there, he didn’t get a lot of regular playing time until after the Yankees clinched the AL East. That being said, he has certainly made a splash with a .357 batting AVG and .449 OBP over the last 15 games.

Outfielders (4)

Harrison Bader, Oswaldo Cabrera, Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Tim Locastro

The Yankees had hoped to see a return from Andrew Benintendi (LF)—who they acquired in this year’s trade acquisition from the Royals—after he went on the IL in early September with a broken bone in his right hand that required surgery, but he’s yet to be cleared for practice and live action drills. Luckily for the Yankees, this injury led them to the discovery that Oswaldo Cabrera not only belongs on the postseason roster, but he’s an everyday starter. To me, there is no question as to whether Oswaldo Cabrera makes the cut, and I do see him on the regular starting roster. Hicks doesn’t make the cut if you ask most fans, but if we’re being realistic, he’s not going anywhere. Despite his struggles at the plate, his above average OBP of .360 over the last 15 games could be something to consider. Tim Locastro is another player likely in the talks. Locastro adds value in a pinch where speed is needed around the bases.

DH (2)

Matt Carpenter, Giancarlo Stanton

Pitchers (12)

SP: Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes, Luis Severino, Jameson Taillon
RP: Aroldis Chapman, Scott Effross, Domingo Germán, Jonathan Loáisiga, Lucas Luetge, Ron Marinaccio, Frankie Montas, Wandy Peralta, Clarke Schmidt, Lou Trivino
CL: Clay Holmes

With the stellar start to the season, this is definitely not the BP roster we had hoped to see in the postseason, but here we are. Aroldis Chapman has had a rough year and the Yankees were reportedly considering cutting ties altogether with him just a few weeks ago, but Ron Marinaccio’s shin injury may leave them with no choice but to keep him onboard. With Domingo Germán’s start in Wednesday’s season finale, that makes me think the Yankees wanted to get him loosened up, so I think he makes the cut.

Boone indicated in the postgame wrap-up that Germán is a guy who can serve in several roles. While both Clay Holmes and Wandy Peralta have been on the IL, they’re expected to return for the ALDS, and as long as they come back healthy, I think either Lucas Luetge or Clarke Schmidt will go. Should the Yankees advance to the ALCS, it will be interesting to see how they might reshape the roster if Ron Marinaccio and Frankie Montas rehab to return.

Potential ALDS Starting Lineup

Starting lineup if the ALDS started today

















Is this a World Champion roster?

The Yankees have not advanced to the World Series since they won their 27th World Series Championship in 2009, although, they’ve made 10 playoff appearances since. Do they have what it takes to be paraded down a confetti-filled Broadway?

We’ve used the slogan “chase for 28” for what feels like a century. It’s time to turn the dial to 29.

Jonna M. Perlinger

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