The New York Yankees’ 2022 regular season accomplished … basically everything it needed to accomplish. After fighting doubters all offseason, the Yanks ran away with the AL East. The Boston Red Sox are buried in last place. New York staved off an epic collapse in August, while their cross-town rival Mets encountered one in September. Aaron Judge got his history. Gerrit Cole got his franchise record. All seems right in the world.
But, somehow, the Yankees’ forthcoming playoff roster has ended up … less than ideal.
Bullpen stalwart Ron Marinaccio will miss the ALDS with a shin issue. Clay Holmes and Wandy Peralta will both be coming off injuries; their status remains questionable, and the Yankees’ closer spot remains up for grabs. Frankie Montas, acquired to be the team’s No. 2 starter, is missing in action. Some veterans who most probably hoped would be cut midway through the summer remain on the fringes of the roster conversation.
And … is Aroldis Chapman really going to make it again, after Aaron Boone claimed his work Tuesday opened his mind a bit?! Must we do this dance one final time?
Despite these many injuries, the Yankees still have an overflowing roster entering the postseason. Center fielder Harrison Bader recently returned and made his Bronx Bombers debut. Slugger Matt Carpenter is supposedly going to walk directly off the practice fields onto the playoff roster. A fleet of bullpen arms returned during the final weeks of September — and a few might even survive.
There’s still plenty of talent that will not make the Yankees’ postseason roster. Hell, there are talented names that have no chance to make it. But whether it’s due to lack of playing time or lack of fit, these difference-makers won’t get a chance to strut their stuff this October, but probably should at least be considered.
Honorable Mentions: Miguel Castro/Aroldis Chapman. After recent injuries, Castro should definitely make it. Chapman still shouldn’t. But if he did, we’d get it. Ugh. Either way, this decision’s going to feel weird.
Also, Andrew Benintendi. Not gonna happen for the DS, but … we wish it could.
Also, Ron Marinaccio, because the Yankees should’ve just IL’d him and rested him this summer instead of demoting him to Triple-A, if this issue really was nagging him all year. Dipsticks.
3 Yankees players who should make the ALDS roster … but come on, we know they won’t
3. Tim Locastro
The times are certainly changing. Even four or five years ago, Tim Locastro probably would’ve been a lock for a Yankees postseason roster spot for his ability as a late-inning defensive replacement and pinch-runner — especially with Giancarlo Stanton on the roster!
These days, though, it seems likelier the Yankees will carry the slumping Aaron Hicks and the more versatile Marwin González into October, even though neither offers much of anything offensively. Hicks might be able to run into one on the road, but can’t play home games. Locastro probably won’t hit a dinger, but he can lay down a safety squeeze with the best of ’em. Kind of a bummer.
The bullpen is entirely in flux, but the bench seems fairly settled, as long as Carpenter can give it a go. And that stinks! Locastro can’t play shortstop and he can’t hit occasional three-run homers against the Astros, but his 8-10 bags stolen would likely provide more value than either Hicks or González could provide.
Ah, well. He won’t get a chance, though.