The New York Yankees this morning announced their 25-man roster for their best-of-five American League Division Series matchup against the Detroit Tigers, which begins Friday night at Yankee Stadium (8:37 p.m. ET/TBS). Let's analyze the roster, which is below:
Starting Pitchers -- CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Freddy Garcia
Manager Joe Girardi will go with three starters in the ALDS, which is a good decision. This means that both A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes will pitch out of the bullpen.
Relief Pitchers -- Mariano Rivera, David Robertson, Rafael Soriano, Boone Logan, A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes, Cory Wade, Luis Ayala.
The biggest surprise here is the omission of rookie Hector Noesi, who appeared in 30 games this season for the Yankees -- 28 in relief. With Burnett and Hughes both in the bullpen the Yankees apparently feel they would rather have Ayala's experience over Noesi's ability to pitch multiple innings. The Yankees also chose to bypass adding a second left-hander, Raul Valdes, to their bullpen for the ALDS.
Catchers -- Russell Martin, Jesus Montero
With backup catcher Francisco Cervelli (concussion) unavailable for the ALDS the Yankees will use the 21-year-old Montero as their backup to Martin. Jorge Posada will be an emergency catcher. Montero (.328, four home runs, 12 RBI in 61 at-bats) will likely be the designated hitter against left-handed pitchers. The Yankees could have found a way to keep Austin Romine, but chose not to do that.
Infielders -- Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Eduardo Nunez, Eric Chavez
Concerns about the health of third baseman Alex Rodriguez (knee, thumb) probably helped the Yankees decide to keep both the righty hitting Nunez and lefty hitting Chavez on the ALDS roster.
Outfielders -- Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher, Andruw Jones, Chris Dickerson
Dickerson bounced back-and-forth between the Yankees and AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre most of the season. He offers the Yankees some speed and a defensive replacement for Swisher in right field.
Designated Hitter -- Jorge Posada
The veteran will get the at-bats against right-handed pitching. Against lefties the DH is likely to be Montero, or possibly Jones. Posada, who caught only once this season, could go behind the plate in an emergency.