Yankees: Predicting the postseason starting rotation and bullpen for the ALDS
Game 4 (if necessary): Chad Green/Ja Happ
If the series goes to a Game 4 I think we’re going to see some combination of Chad Green and J.A. Happ to pitch the first half of the game before handing the ball off to their high leverage relievers. Green has been the Yankees best opener throughout the regular season and is the only reliever who I think they’ll use in that role during the postseason because he has plenty of experience.
J.A. Happ made his first relief appearance in Tampa last week in preparation for this type of role and he looked very good throwing five innings of one-run ball. Happ finished the season strong with a 1.65 ERA in September and is probably ahead of CC Sabathia on the depth chart because of it. Happ will be well-rested whenever he makes his first appearance this series and I think his stuff will benefit from it especially out fo the open.
That being said if this is an elimination game Happ will still have an extremely short leash because the Twins lineup hit more home runs than any team in history this year and they mash left-handed pitching. Happ also gave up a career-high 34 bombs so even though he’s pitched a lot better of late it’s still somewhat concerning that the Yankees will likely have to pitch Happ for multiple innings at some point during the series.
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CC’s roster status is still up in the air based on Aaron Boone’s comments from Wednesday but I just don’t see any way the Yankees leave him off unless his knee won’t allow him to pitch. I don’t think CC will be heavily relied upon to give the Yankees length this October but after Happ, he’s probably the next best option to give them multiple innings if the situation calls for it.
Despite his knee issues and struggles since the All-Star break (7.18 ERA) CC is is a playoff veteran and I’d trust him more than someone like Luis Cessa, Nestor Cortes or Cory Gearrin on the October stage. He can also still get lefties out at a high rate (.198 BAA) which could prove to be very valuable at some point.
The reason I think Loaisiga will make the roster ahead of the names mentioned above is strict because of his stuff. Loaisiga has an electric arm and although he struggles at times to put it all together he can be overpowering when he does.
Update: CC will be left off the roster due to a shoudler injury
Prediction: Luis Cessa gets the final roster spot