Hideki Matsui returns to the Yankees tonight as the team’s DH. Just in time, too. Because the Yankees are really hurting for hitting, currently fielding only 7 all-stars in their batting order.
With Matsui’s return, the question becomes, who will the Yankees keep for their postseason roster? Or, more to the point, who will they cut?
Teams get 25 players to take into the postseason. You figure the Yanks will take four starters, a closer, a setup guy, a couple of middle relievers…all told, probably around ten pitchers. Which leaves them with 15 position players. They’ve got to take two catchers, so that means Posada and Fasano are in. You know they’ll take A-Rod, Jeter, Cano, Giambi, Abreu, Matsui and Damon. That’s nine. But after that it gets sticky.
It’s a safe bet that Sheffield (provided he heals in time), Bernie Williams, Melky Cabrera, Craig Wilson, and Miguel Cairo will make the team. That leaves one more spot.
You’ve got to figure that last spot will go to scrappy infielder Nick Green, b/c he’s the only guy who can play SS besides Jeter and A-Rod. If A-Rod or Jeter goes down, the Yanks will need Green.
That means Aaron Guiel and Kevin Thompson get the axe. Oh well.
And that, in a nutshell, is your Yankees postseason lineup. Not too shabby.
Pitching for the Empire will be Wang, Johnson, Mussina and Lidle. That’s not too shabby, although, as good as Wang has been, I’m still a little bit hesitent to consider him the kind of number one ace that a team needs to win the World Series. Wang is good, but he’s no Schilling. And he’s certainly no Santana.