Yankees announce official ALDS roster featuring last-minute swap
By Adam Weinrib
The Yankees have announced their 28-man ALDS roster with one key change.
In the hours before the Yankees chose to reveal their 28-man ALDS roster, plenty of speculation ran rampant, some of it likely hogwash.
After all, though, the team declined to publicly announce their No. 2 starter in the series prior to Monday morning, only assuring that the pitcher selected would speak to the media before Game 1 that evening.
Would Masahiro Tanaka still toe the rubber? Perhaps Deivi Garcia was getting bumped up? Or maybe, just maybe, James Paxton was healthy enough to contribute some surprise innings?!
Well, uh, no. That did not happen. We’re still not sure who’s starting that game, but Paxton did not make enough of an impression to ascend to the official roster that dropped Monday just before 2:00 PM EST.
In a series in which bullpen depth will certainly be tested and innings must be soaked up between off days, Paxton would’ve been a boon to this roster.
However, the Yankees won’t have that luxury, but still knew they needed to prioritize pitching over luxury items on offense. Therefore, Erik Kratz has been downgraded from a fully-rostered member of the team to a member of the player pool, replaced on the active roster by Michael King.
Huh. Guess they have no use for a knuckleballer late in games. Duly noted.
While volume isn’t everything, it is notable that the Yankees have chosen to go with one more hurler than the pitching-rich Rays.
Why King over, say, Clarke Schmidt? You’d have to admit that, in pressurized relief situations, Schmidt did not deliver this season. And why would he? It’s not his game whatsoever to enter with men on.
King has rarely been effective for longer than one-inning samples in his MLB career, but that seems valuable in a series where the arms will be stretched to their limits on both sides.
It is noteworthy, though, that both King and Nick Nelson will likely be needed in some capacity as the staff gets squeezed. Sure, we’re talking about players No. 27 and 28, but you can bank on seeing them. It’s not paralysis by analysis here to scrutinize every inch of this roster.
Hopefully, the ploy works, and King’s two-seamer will either be effective in a brief burst, or he can nurse large leads or deficits as the series drags on.