The Yankees have finalized their 25-man roster for their ALDS showdown against the AL Central-champion Twins. We learned yesterday that CC Sabathia would not make the roster due to health reasons but Edwin Encarnacion would be ready. Here’s the full breakdown:
- Luis Cessa
- Chad Green
- Tommy Kahnle
- Jonathan Loaisiga
- Adam Ottavino
- Luis Severino (Game 3 starter)
- Masahiro Tanaka (Game 2 starter)
Despite his late struggles in a return from a sports hernia, Voit will get the call over the much hotter-hitting Mike Ford, who batted .274/.333/.619 with 11 home runs in 123 plate appearances between August and September. Voit, of course, has been generally excellent at the plate since debuting with the Yankees following a July 2018 trade with the Cardinals, and they’ll go with that track record over Ford’s hot streak.
Looking up and down the roster, the toll that the injury bug has taken on the Yankees is readily apparent. Absent are Dellin Betances (Achilles tear), CC Sabathia (shoulder), Aaron Hicks (flexor strain), Miguel Andujar (shoulder surgery) and Greg Bird (plantar fasciitis). Even Mike Tauchman, an out-of-the-blue breakout who only got an opportunity due to other injuries, went down with a season-ending calf strain of his own. The injury to Betances is particularly costly with the heightened importance of bullpen usage in the postseason, although the Yankees’ relief corps is still unquestionably impressive even without one of its best arms.
With four left-handed relievers at his disposal, including Happ (who could potentially work the bulk of innings in a Game 4 setting, if needed), manager Aaron Boone will have plenty of options when looking to play matchups in high-leverage settings. The Yankees opted for a fourth bench player, the versatile Wade, rather than carry a 13th pitcher, but several of their arms are capable of going multiple innings.
That Encarnacion was able to make it back to the roster will be no small detail in this series. The veteran slugger has been out since Sept. 12 due to an oblique strain and was a question mark as recently as Wednesday of this week. He’ll join Sanchez and Torres as 30-homer bats on a team that also includes Gardner (28 home runs), Judge (27 in an injury-shortened season) and LeMahieu (26) in what should be an explosive ALDS between baseball’s two most powerful offenses.