It didn’t take a roster mastermind to realize the New York Yankees would be making a monumental change or two entering the ALCS, especially considering Aaron Hicks’ Game 5 injury would yank him off the roster permanently.
That singular issue meant that Oswaldo Cabrera would likely need to play more left field moving forward, and that Isiah Kiner-Falefa would probably need a more competent backup than Marwin González/Gleyber Torres at short. The red carpet appeared to be rolling out for top prospect Oswald Peraza.
Same with reliever Ron Marinaccio, who was the Yankees’ most effective late-inning option at times during the regular season, and professed on Tuesday that he was all the way recovered from the stress reaction in his shin that kept him out of the ALDS.
The possible reinforcements seemed endless. Would DJ LeMahieu make a comeback? What about Andrew Benintendi? Would trade deadline addition Frankie Montas rise like a phoenix from the ashes? Would the untouched Miguel Castro survive to the next round?
Turns out, the shakeups were plentiful and unpredictable. The Yankees dropped their roster at noon for Wednesday’s Game 1. Hicks was out, as was González and left-handed reliever Lucas Luetge. In their places? Peraza, Montas, and Triple-A slider merchant Greg Weissert.
No Marinaccio?! Not even one Marinaccio?!?
Yankees add Frankie Montas, Greg Weissert, Oswald Peraza to ALCS roster
Now, the question on everybody’s lips: will Peraza get a fair shake after the team finally shied away from Kiner-Falefa in the ALDS? Or will he be banished to the bench, as he was for most of September?
Of the three additions, Weissert over Marinaccio is by far the most surprising, which hints Marinaccio’s injury must not be as healed as he indicated on Tuesday. Though Weissert’s debut in Oakland was a disaster, he settled in and showed off his dominant stuff down the stretch, allowing only one earned run in 4.2 innings across his final seven outings with the Yankees.
Not to be uncouth, either, but … what exactly … will Montas be doing here? Backing up Jameson Taillon in Game 1? That’s supposed to be Domingo Germán’s job. Starting Game 4? Absolutely not. Handling an inning of short relief? Interesting, but why didn’t he just replaced the untouched Castro, then, as opposed to knocking Luetge off, one of very few left-handed options to neutralize Yordan Álvarez (who’s about to get very accustomed to facing Wandy Peralta).
In the ALDS, the Yankees used Lou Trivino, Jonathan Loaisiga, Clay Holmes and Peralta near-constantly, and it’s no surprise they carried more pitching this series with similar rest constraints facing the team.
The choices made, though, were quite bizarre.