I don't want to try to jinx anything here, but at this point in the season I think we can all agree that the Yankees will make the playoffs one way or another. So now the question becomes, what is their initial postseason 25-man roster going to look like? Taking injuries out of the equation, we can safely assume the roster will look like this:
4) The Horse
: Cervelli, Kearns, Thames, Pena
: Mo, D-Rob, Wood, Joba, Marte, Boone Logan (the only guy who doesn't get a nickname or even his name shortened because "Boone Logan" just sounds badass), Aceves, Vazquez
Unfortunately, we don't have the luxury of taking injuries out of the equation, and if the playoffs were to start today, you wouldn't be seeing A-Rod, Berkman, Andy, Marte, or Aceves on the roster for the ALDS. Their spots would most likely be filled up by Eduardo Nunez, Dustin Moseley, Ivan Nova, Sergio Mitre, and Chad Gaudin for 12 positional players and 13 pitchers instead of the other way around.
We more than likely won't be seeing Nunez or Gaudin on the postseason roster as A-Rod will be back, but the other 4 guys are not such sure bets to make it back. Andy has already had setbacks to his return and is still out until at least mid-September, Berkman's injured ankle could linger and limit his ability to play, Aceves has battled his back issues all year and got rocked in his last rehab outing last night, and nobody seems to know anything about Damaso Marte's status so he might have actually died. This combined uncertainty about guys who would be playoff roster staples combined with the continued piss-poor performance from A.J. and Javy poses some very interesting scenarios and choices for the Yankees.
As it is right now, I would not even consider putting Vazquez on the roster, instead putting Sergio Mitre in the 'pen as the long man. And I've already stated that I would rather see Phil Hughes start Game 2 of any and every series and push A.J. back to the 4th starter role if Andy is good to go. But what if Andy can't go? Who becomes the 4th starter? If Ivan Nova dazzles down the stretch, does he deserve a spot? If Nunez starts to adjust to Major League pitching in the last month and starts hitting better, does he get the utility spot over Pena? And who is the next position player in line to fill in if another guy goes down? These are the important possibilities the Yanks are going to have to consider as the season winds down.
** Check back tonight for my initial 2010 AP Top 25 Yankee Playoff Roster Poll. **