The American League Division will start on Tuesday for the New York Yankees, and with it, a new opportunity to fight for World Series title number 28 begins.
The Yankees’ offense is solid and the starting pitching, with Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes Jr. and Luis Severino expected to start games in the ALDS against either the Tampa Bay Rays or the Cleveland Guardians, is also top-notch. The defense is absolutely elite.
The bullpen, on the other hand, has some issues, mostly related to injuries and depth. With full health, the Yankees would have arguably the best unit in MLB. However, without Chad Green and Michael King for the remainder of the season and with injury clouds over Ron Marinaccio, Clay Holmes, and Wandy Peralta, it’s difficult to forecast the group that will go to the ALDS.
Peralta and Holmes should be ready to help the Yankees in the ALDS
Peralta continues to work his way back from a lower back strain but is expected to be ready for Tuesday. Marinaccio isn’t: his shin issue will likely keep him sidelined until the Championship Series.
Holmes received a cortisone injection to help him with his right shoulder strain and has been throwing for a few days. The Yankees will wait for him, and there is a chance he is ready to face Cleveland or Tampa Bay.
Having said that, here is a peek at what the Yankees bullpen could be like early next week:
Left-handers: Aroldis Chapman, Lucas Luetge, Wandy Peralta.
Right-handers: Scott Effross, Domingo Germán, Jonathan Loáisiga, Clarke Schmidt, Lou Trivino, Clay Holmes.
With Cole, Nestor and Severino, the Yankees are expected to carry 12 pitchers if they want to include Oswald Peraza in the postseason roster, which they should (here is MLB.com’s projection for the final ALDS roster). That bullpen is not what it used to be in the first half when everybody was healthy, but it’s still good enough to compete.