The Yankees have until late Friday morning to submit their 25-man ALDS roster to the league. And while manager Aaron Boone said those final decisions might be “finalized” Wednesday night, it wouldn’t be surprising if the club doesn’t make anything official until they have to.
Expect the Yankees on Thursday to announce either James Paxton or Masahiro Tanaka as the Game 1 starter. But as far as other roster decisions, including the rotation order and which game (or games) they go with an “opener,” that could be it until Friday.
Among the biggest points of the internal discussions is whether to take 12 or 13 pitchers. The latter, of course, would mean just three reserves — likely Austin Romine, Tyler Wade and either Mike Ford or Luke Voit.
Also among the key roster decisions: If 38-year-old CC Sabathia and his always troublesome right knee will be included. The lefthander, set to retire whenever the Yankees’ season ends, made his first regular-season appearance out of the bullpen Sept. 24 against the Rays in St. Petersburg, Florida, and looked good, striking out two in a perfect 13-pitch inning.
The plan heading into last weekend’s three-game series against the Rangers was for him to get one, and maybe two, bullpen appearances, but he wasn't used.
Aaron Boone, asked point-blank Sept. 28 if Sabathia, who was not on the field during Wednesday’s workout, would make the playoff roster, said: “he will probably be on the roster, yes.”
But the manager did not sound as sure Wednesday, perhaps an indication Sabathia’s knee, which landed him on the IL twice this season and required multiple cortisone shots, had been acting up again.
“That’s kind of what we’re deciding on, just making sure he’s good to go,” Boone said. “He’s good for this [bullpen] role, you know, he can handle it. So that’s one of the things we’re kind of working through today.”