Brian Cashman talks playoffs

Some highlights from this afternoon’s media session with Yankees GM Brian Cashman in the visiting dugout at Tropicana Field:

On the playoff roster:
We talked about it for the very first time on an official basis, I guess. We haven’t made any decisions. We worked through some of it, but we definitely have got some more conversations to have. It was a healthy dialogue that we’ll all walk away from and regroup tomorrow. We’ll let what was said be digested from everybody involved and we’ve got to go over some advance scouting stuff tomorrow. Prior to that or after that, we’ll pick it up again.

On the Yankees’ pitching staff, including their TBA Game 3 starter:
I think our pitching is a lot better than we’re getting credit for. I don’t feel like we’re trying to come up with a third starter. I don’t feel that way at all. I think it’s more the bench that is really the big focus, and how does the ‘pen round out? That’s going to be the big thing.

Is Jorge Posada on the ALDS roster?:
Can’t say yet.

On carrying Raul Valdes as a second left-hander, more likely vs. Texas:
It’s a discussion point. That’s one area that it would probably apply, if you’re playing an offense with a lot of lefties and stuff like that. That could necessitate something. That’s probably the only place the opponent really comes into play, with Valdes.

On keeping unused starting pitchers in the bullpen:
You could, but I think some are complete unknowns. It’s not unusual, because usually you got to cut down from five to three in the post-season, so there’s two guys who are going to have to go to the pen, or off the roster. So I’m sure those two would rather be active than not. But there is an unknown about how they’ll handle it mentally and physically, and how they can perform. It’s unknown. You don’t know.

On the value of having two starters in the bullpen vs. two extra relievers:
That’s what the debate’s all about right now, and there’s no easy answer. First you’ve got to think of the manager and how he handles the bullpen, how he manages, and work off of that. What he’s more likely to do, and then try to customize the roster. If the opponent factors into it, so be it, but I’m not so sure these two factor into it all that much.

On today’s meetings with Joe Girardi and the coaching staff:
I kind of flew in expecting to maybe resolve something in our first go-round, but that didn’t happen. Everybody raised a lot of good discussion topics., the way the meeting wound up going, I tabled the meeting and just said, listen, lets just digest everything we’ve all talked about because they’re all valid important points. We don’t have to make the decision today so let’s just think about what everybody said and we’ll revisit it tomorrow.

Rays or Red Sox? Rooting interest?:
I’m not pulling for anybody. I’m glad that were able to do what we did to get our business taken care of, and put ourselves in a position to take care of ourselves. I know both parties involved, Boston and Tampa, are having sleepless nights and they’re hungry and they want to do good for their fans.
First round preference?
You get what you get and you don’t get upset.

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