Ok, the Yanks are thisclose to securing a postseason berth. Magic number for at least a wild card is 4.
So who is on the postseason roster? Here is a guess.
C: Posada and Molina
OF: Damon, Melky, Swisher, Gardner and Guzman.
That’s 14. It looks as if Ramiro Pena could be joining Francisco Cervelli in Tampa as players “just in case.” Working out in order to be added should the Yanks suffer an injury.
But you are probably wondering…who is Freddy Guzman?
Nope, it’s not this Freddy…
Guzman’s MLB resume isn’t earth-shattering. OF. 5’10”. 165. Switch-hits. 19 for 89 in his whole MLB career. That’s .213. 1 HR. 6 RBI. 5 for 8 in SB. OPS+ a sad 47. 28 years old. 38 MLB games. Doesn’t sound like anything, right?
We turn to the minor league stats. 3 leagues, 2002 Padre system. 89g, 69 SB.
2003, 3 leagues, SD system. 90 SB.
2004, AA/AAA SD system. 65 SB.
2006 AAA, SD/TEX 42 SB
2007 56 steals for Tex AAA (Oklahoma).
2008 Tigers, AA/AAA, 71 SB
2009 4 teams, AAA. Boston/Balt./Sea and Yanks 45 SB.
He’s only a .270 hitter in the minors. 20 minor league HR in 784 minor league games. 443 SB.
Basically, he is there as a PR. That’s it. If Melky starts, Gardner and Guzman provide two pinch-runners off the bench. Also two defensive replacements so that you have a speedier OF. You wouldn’t want Guzman hitting (although, to be fair, the postseason does make strange heroes…after all, Brian Doyle in 1978? Jose Vizcaino getting 4 hits in Game 1 of the 2000 WS?) and he won’t. But Guzman…and Gardner…could get a big steal just as Dave Roberts did for Boston in Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS. Just don’t get picked off. (See Washington, Herb, …below).
In other words, Guzman could be to the 2009 Yankee postseason what Herb Washington and Allan Lewis were to the Oakland A’s.
Lewis got in 156 games with the A’s. 29 MLB at bats. You read that right. 29 ABs in 156 games. He was used mostly to PR. He went 6 for 29, 1 HR and 3 RBI in his career. 1967-1970, 1972 and 1973 A’s. 14 SB for the 1967 KC A’s. 44 in his career. The Panamanian Express.
Charlie Finley then took the Lewis PR idea to the extreme. He then got Herb Washington, who played in 105 games for the 1974-1975 Oakland A’s. Washington never got an at bat. Ever. He stole 29 bases for the 1974 A’s, two more in 1975 before the strictly…and I mean strictly PR….was let go. In case you are wondering, Washington never took the field either. … and yes, the 1974 A’s won the WS even though they were “short-handed” for the entire season, having one player on the team who never hit and never took the field! PR only.
Oh…Washington’s claim to infamy? Getting picked off by Mike Marshall of the Dodgers in Game 2 of the 1974 WS.
At least Guzman is a player, even though he can’t hit much, he actually plays the field (that’s on the field…I obviously wouldn’t know about off!) (For the record, Lewis, unlike Washington, actually took to the field in 10 games as well as have those 29 at bats).
So for this postseason, Guzman may be the Yankees’ Lewis or Washington. Good for the postseason or the expanded September roster, but you wouldn’t want it for the regular season…no way.
As for the pitching staff, if the Yankees go with the extended series and just three starters in the ALDS, I could see it shaping up this way:
Starters: CC, AJ, Andy (that shoulder better be getting that rest, Andy!)
Long men: Aceves and Gaudin
7th inning: Robertson (get that elbow healthy, David!) and Joba (think about that….Joba in the 7th, then Hughes and Mo??)
LOOGYS: Marte and Coke. (Lefty One Out Guy)
Mitre goes to Tampa, just in case. So does Bruney. The question becomes, Marte or Bruney on the team? Marte has to show me more, but there are already all those righties…Ace, Hughes, Robertson, Joba (for round 1 in the bullpen, starter afterward, and if just one start in the ALCS or WS, Joba could also relieve an inning in those series should the Yanks advance), Rivera, Gaudin… Girardi may decide to go with the two loogys.
As for Joba, Game 4 starter in the ALCS and WS if Yanks advance. Could he give an inning of relief in Game 1/2 and/or 6/7 as well as start Game 4? Why not?
See Mussina, 2003 ALCS and Turley, 1958 WS for examples. There are more, but there’s your starting point.