Austin Romine could find himself as the Yankees backup catcher in the upcoming playoffs. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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The New York Yankees clinched the American League East title Wednesday night. That means they have little to play for over the next week as they watch Boston, Tampa Bay and Anaheim battle for the wild-card spot. The Yankees do, however, have some questions to answer during the next week.
Here are three that leap to mind:
1. Does Jorge Posada belong on the post-season roster?
Nice moment for Posada Wednesday, getting the division-clinching hit as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning. Will it be Posada's last hurrah as a Yankee. How does he fit on the post-season roster? Eric Chavez probably gets the lefty at-bats as a designated hitter, or at third base with Alex Rodriguez DH'ing. Posada can't hit right-handed. He can't catch. He can't pinch-run. What role is there for him?
No question Nova (16-4) is No. 2 behind Sabathia. Still no clue, though, who the third and fourth starters are. You pick between A.J. Burnett, Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia and Phil Hughes. I'm not sure any of those options is incredibly appealing, and it seems manager Joe Girardi has yet to make up his mind.
3. Who is the backup catcher?
Francisco Cervelli has a concussion, and since this is not the first time this has happened to Cervelli he seems unlikely for the post-season. Posada has caught once this season, used in an emergency when Russell Martin got hurt and Cervelli was unavailable. It can't be him. That leaves rookie September call-ups Jesus Montero and Austin Romine. Best guess is both guys make the post-season roster, and if the Yankees absolutely have to use a second catcher it would be the more defensively advanced Romine, who currently has nine big-league at-bats.
American League Wild Card Standings
|Los Angeles||85||70||.548||2.5||Won 2|
|Tampa Bay||85||70||.548||2.5||Lost 3|
|Kansas City||68||88||.435||20||Lost 1|
(updated 9.22.2011 at 3:08 PM EDT)