As of September 12th, the Yankees are 87-56, a half game up on the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East. The division will be at stake with the crucial upcoming Rays series in St. Petersburg.

The playoffs seem to be a lock for the Bombers, barring any Mets‘ style collapse over the course of the month (knock on wood), so let’s take a look at some problems and questions that the Yankees will face in October, and possibly early November.


1) The Rotation

Last year, the Yanks were very effective using a three-man rotation in the playoffs with CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, and Andy Pettitte in that order.

What Joe Girardi would like to do this time around is have CC Sabathia head the rotation with Pettitte following him. That itself raises a question: Will Pettitte, who hasn’t pitched since July due to a nagging groin injury, be ready to handle multiple postseason starts, especially if the Yankees want to have a three or four-man rotation?

And about that three or four-man rotation, who is the third or fourth guy? Apparently, the leading candidates are AJ Burnett, Phil Hughes, Javier Vazquez, and Dustin Moseley. Some people would like to see Ivan Nova’s name in there, but the Yankees will most likely avoid that considering how young he is. Expect to see him out of the bullpen.

As for the other four names, I think you will most likely see a four-man rotation with Burnett and Hughes, unless either one of them suddenly forgets how to throw a baseball. Sabathia, Pettitte, Burnett, and Hughes is your New York Yankees’ playoff rotation.


2) The Lineup

This paragraph will be easy.

Obviously the Yankees would like to be able to play Posada, Teixeira, Cano, A-Rod, Jeter, Gardner, Granderson, and Swisher, with Berkman the DH against righties and Thames against lefties.

Due to injuries and days off, the Yankees have had some difficulty getting this lineup on the field routinely. Hopefully that won’t be a problem in the postseason.

On the bench, the Yankees need Austin Kearns as a utility outfielder, Ramiro Pena as a utility infielder, and Francisco Cervelli as a backup catcher.


3) The Bullpen

Last year, the bullpen was lights out going into October, but then was a bit less than what everyone expected in the playoffs. 

This year, the bullpen is not as electric as last year, but for the most part effective going into the final weeks of the season. That’s all the Yankees need.

Most likely the pitchers we will see in relief are Rivera, Chamberlain, Mitre, Moseley, Nova (possibly), Vazquez, Logan, Wood, and Robertson.



All in all, the Yankees look good. Hopefully the Pinstripers will clinch the division, because of home field advantage obviously, but Yankee fans have reason to be confident even if the Bombers clinch via Wild Card.


Krouse’s Playoff Predictions

American League (Rays Wild Card)

Division Series: Yankees def. Rangers 3-1, Rays def. Twins 3-1

Championship Series: Yankees def. Rays 4-3

National League (Braves Wild Card)

Division Series: Phillies def. Giants 3-2, Braves def. Reds 3-2

Championship Series: Braves def. Phillies 4-3

Yes, overall I believe the Phillies are a better team than the Braves, and therefore will win the division. However, the Phils seem to have real trouble beating Atlanta head-to-head. So when the Braves squeak past Cincinnati, they defeat the Phillies to claim the NL title. And yes, the Padres won’t be able to stop their skid soon enough to claim the NL West title over the Giants.

2010 World Series

Yankees def. Braves 4-1

Go Yanks!

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