Aaron Boone, the manager of the New York Yankees, has a fun, but challenging task of creating a lineup for the postseason.
The Yankees currently have the best record in baseball at 95-51, are 7-3 in their last 10 games, and have an 8.5 game lead on the Tampa Bay Rays. The Yankees have one more two-game set against the Rays, at Tropicana Field, near the end of the month (MLB.com).
With the recent news of Hicks possibly needing Tommy John surgery and Tauchman being out the rest of the season, that opens up some spots in the outfield on the postseason roster. Stanton is the candidate to get the starting spot in left once he comes back off the IL. Clint Frazier could see an increase in playing time as well and will most likely make the postseason roster with all of these injuries.
What should the Starting Lineup Look Like in the Post-Season?
Once everyone comes back from injury, an ideal lineup would look like this: Lemahieu (3B), Judge (RF), Sanchez (C), Encarnacion (DH), Stanton (LF), Voit (1B), Torres (2B), Gregorius (SS), and Gardner (CF). Even for the Astros pitching, that would be a tough lineup to get through. Â The balanced hitting of Lemahieu and Judge will set up the middle of the order, where all of the power comes from. Then, the sneaky home run leader, Torres, will add value to the bottom-third of the lineup. Gardner, a player that always seems to make something happen, whether it’s drawing a walk or stealing a base, is a perfect nine hitter to set up the top of the lineup.
Some key players off the bench would be: Gio Urshela (3B), for his electric plays on defense and consistent bat, Cameron Maybin (OF), for his veteran presence and ability to everything he asked to do at a high level, and Austin Romine (C), for his ability to lead as a veteran and come up clutch in big moments at the plate. He also seems to bond well with the pitchers and gives them extra confidence the mound.
Also, for the ALDS, Boone should most likely have Paxton start game 1 with his recent success. Tanaka game 2, Severino game 3, and German open up game 4, with Sabathia and/or Happ, right behind Severino or German. Severino will need some time to get back to his full durability audit may not be this season. German has also thrown a lot of innings this year and they should be careful with his arm. This plan would allow The Yankees could be smart to utilize all of their options to keep everyone fresh out of the bullpen.
Using this strategy, Boone can help lead the New York Yankees to their first World Series in a decade.