14 Sep 2011
MLB announced a preliminary schedule for the 2012 season today. The thing that caught my eye for the Yankees is the fact that they will play the Red Sox 15 times over the final three months of the season.
They travel to Boston on April 20th for three games, but do not see them again until July 6th when they return to Boston. Boston comes to New York July 27th and August 17th for three games each. The Yankees then make their final trip to Boston September 11th-13th and close out the season at home against the Red Sox October 1st-3rd. This could be really fun.
Back to our scheduled programming, the 2011 season and it is amazing to think that two weeks from tonight the regular season ends. The Yankees still have some pretty big questions to decide.
Let’s start with the biggest one, the rotation in the playoffs after Sabathia. Much is being made of AJ Burnett’s adjustment with his hands last night. I suppose we should start by complimenting him on actually making an adjustment during the game, but I can’t get too excited, even though the numbers and results looked great. For one, Seattle is a horrible offensive club. Second, this is AJ we are talking about. I need to see this repeated about 10 more times before I even begin to believe it.
At this point, I think you have to believe that starters 2-4 are Colon, Garcia and Nova in some order. Unless AJ miraculously keeps up his performance from the later innings last night and Garcia continues to falter, that’s it. We have 15 games left for these plans to solidify.
The next question is the makeup of the playoff bullpen. We can assume Mo, Robertson, Soriano, Wade, Ayala and Logan are in. I would also assume that the Yankees won’t take more than 11 guys in the pen so the last spot comes down to one of the two starters left out of the rotation and a wild card like Laffey. I would bet on AJ or Hughes being the final piece, but nothing is set in stone.
Finally, what will the bench look like? This is a real wild card because we don’t know the status of Francisco Cervelli. We can assume that Chavez, Jones and Nunez will be on the bench. Assuming all the regular position players are healthy and the Yankees take 14 hitters, that leaves three spots on the bench. One has to go to the backup catcher and that is where it gets messy. If Cervelli isn’t able to play, I doubt the Yankees feel comfortable with Posada or Montero backing up Martin. So, that means Austin Romine makes the team. The Yankees could still take Posada and Montero of course, but would they really do that when someone like Golson or Dickerson makes more sense? Plenty of things will be decided in the next two weeks.