The Yankees announced their roster for the ALCS, with infielder Oswald Perazaright-handers Frankie Montas and Greg Weissert as new additions from the ALDS. They will take the place of outfielder Aaron Hickswho is done for the year, as well as utility player Marwin Gonzalez and left-hander Lucas Luetge. Also of note, infielder DJ LeMahieu and outfielder Andrew Benintendiboth out with injuries, have not been added.
Here is the full roster for the Yankees, as they get set to take on the Astros:
The injury sustained by Hicks has led to a domino effect, necessitating some of today’s switches. For the last two games of the ALDS, Hicks started in left field with Oswaldo Cabrera at short, bumping Isiah Kiner-Falefa to the bench. After Hicks was injured yesterday, Kiner-Falefa was eventually installed at short with Cabrera going out to the left field. Without Hicks, it seems possible that the Yanks will use Aaron Judge, Harrison Bader and Cabrera as their regular outfield mix. That subtracts Cabrera from the infield picture, which Peraza will now step into. Gonzalez is capable of playing anywhere, though he hit just .185 / .255 / .321 this year. It seems the Yanks would prefer the rookie Peraza, who hit .306 / .404 / .429 in his 18-game debut this year.
Benintendi underwent hamate surgery in early September and has recently been working out, trying to get healthy enough to rejoin the club. However, recent reporting indicated he’s been experiencing continued soreness, leading to an injection in his wrist. With him not able to return, Cabrera could be in line for regular outfield duty. Giancarlo Stanton could theoretically be an option, having played 38 games in the outfield this year, though the Yanks might also opt to keep him as the designated hitter.
Similar to Benintendi, LeMahieu has been out of action for a while and has been trying to get healthy enough to return. His absence of him has been due to a ligament issue with the second toe of his right foot. It appears that he hasn’t recoverated enough to get a roster spot. With LeMahieu’s lingering issue, Cabrera likely in the outfield and Kiner-Falefa struggling, Peraza has been swapped in for Gonzalez to contend for shortstop playing time.
As for Montas, he was the Yankees’ big deadline acquisition for the pitching staff. However, he struggled badly after coming over from the A’s. He had a 3.18 ERA with Oakland but then a 6.35 ERA after the deal. It’s possible that shoulder issues were hampering him, as he missed a few starts prior to the trade and was eventually placed on the IL by the Yanks due to shoulder inflammation. He hasn’t been fully stretched out and won’t be a candidate for a starting job, though manager Aaron Boone recently said Montas could throw some multi-inning outings.
With the additions of Montas and Weissert and the subtraction of Luetge, the Yankees are left with Wandy Peralta as the only lefty in their bullpen. The Astros are very right-handed, having just two lefties in their lineup, though the two are Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker. It seems the Yanks have a bit more faith in some of their right-handers to face the middle of the Houston lineup, with Clay Holmes, Jonathan Loáisiga and Miguel Castro perhaps in line to try to quell Alvarez and Tucker.