Wednesday, August 29, 2007

2008 Yankee Position Players

My students are taking their final exam right now, giving me time to ponder different things, including the 2008 Yankee Roster. I think the Yankees should only go with 12 position players and 13 pitchers. There are a few reasons for this. First, they have 10 starting players, and only 9 places to start them. At bats are at a premium for some players, so the only question is; does every position have enough backup. I think they do.

The main reason to have only 12 position players is to have 8 relievers. There is a significant chance that at some point next season, Joba Chamberlain, Phillip Hughes, and Ian Kennedy will all be in the rotation. If that's the case, that's a lot of pressure on the bullpen. These guys aren't going to be going past 100 pitches too often, and against patient lineups, that means 5-inning starts, and 4 innings of relief. That can eat through a bullpen quickly. With both Wang and Pettitte in the rotation, who are both inning-eaters, and an 8-man bullpen, if the youngsters are effective in their innings the Yankees can sustain that (assuming they have the right relievers, which is no small assumption).

The reason they could do this is the versatility of Wilson Betemit & Andy Phillips. I have Johnny Damon playing significant time at first base next season as well. Betemit can play all four infield positions. Phillips can play all but shortstop. Phillips actually played most of his AAA games this year at second base. I don't have Phillips starting at all, but he'd be a late-inning replacement at first base, and if anybody comes out of the game at other infield positions, Betemit would move there (if he was playing first), with Phillips moving to first.

This is how I have it broken down by starts:
Jorge Posada 135 (C-135)
Wilson Betemit 120 (1B-79, 2B-12, SS-17, 3B-12)
Robinson Cano 150 (2B-150)
Derek Jeter 160 (SS-145, DH-15)
Alex Rodriguez 160 (3B-150, DH-10)
Hideki Matsui 157 (LF-110, RF-10, DH-37)
Melky Cabrera 140 (CF-140)
Bobby Abreu 152 (RF-152)
Johnny Damon 137 (1B-63, LF-52, CF-22)
Jason Giambi 120 (1B-20, DH-100)
Jose Molina 27 (C-27)
Andy Phillips 0

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