Cody Eppley replaces Eduardo Nunez on Yankees’ ALCS roster
New York elected to take 12 pitchers into the ALCS against the Tigers, as Detroit’s stable of right-handed starting pitchers – beginning with Doug Fister in Saturday’s Game 1 – made it less likely the Yankees would need Nunez’s bat to counter left-handed pitching.
The Yankees continue to carry Jayson Nix as a backup infielder, who would play shortstop in the event Derek Jeter is unavailable. A bone bruise on Jeter’s left foot forced him to DH in Game 4 of the ALDS against the Orioles, though Jeter was back at shortstop on Friday as the Yankees won Game 5, 3-1, over the Orioles.
The roster decisions may suggest that David Phelps is in line to start Game 2 of the ALCS on Sunday against the Tigers, though manager Joe Girardi said he would not reveal that decision until later on Saturday. The Yankees could also start both Hiroki Kuroda and CC Sabathia on short rest in Games 2 and 3, respectively. Andy Pettitte is scheduled to start Saturday’s Game 1.
Behind Pettitte and Phelps, plus Sabathia, Kuroda and Phil Hughes, the Yankees’ seven-man bullpen has two left-handers, Boone Logan and Clay Rapada. The Yankees’ stable of right-handed relievers is comprised of Joba Chamberlain, Eppley, Derek Lowe, David Robertson and closer Rafael Soriano.
Chris Stewart is on the roster as the backup to starting catcher Russell Martin. New York’s starting infield of Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Jeter and Alex Rodriguez will have Nix and Eric Chavez in reserve. It is unknown if Rodriguez will start in Saturday’s ALCS Game 1 after being benched in favor of Chavez for Friday’s ALDS Game 5.
The Yankees’ starting outfield of Ichiro Suzuki, Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher has Raul Ibanez and Brett Gardner in reserve. Ibanez will likely see designated hitter duty in the series after his hot ALDS, including his game-tying and game-winning home runs in ALDS Game 3 against the Orioles.
Here’s a PDF version of the ALCS Roster.