Here’s an updated look at the Yankees roster (from how it looked three weeks ago):
Catchers (2): Posada and Stinnett
Infielders (6): Giambi, Cano, Jeter, Rodriguez, Phillips, and Cairo
Outfielders (5): Matsui, Damon, Sheffield, Williams and Crosby
Starting Picthers (5): Johnson, Wang, Mussina, Pavano, and Chacón
Bullpen (7): Rivera, Farnsworth, Myers, Sturtze, Villone, Small, and Wright
Just a couple of weeks ago, I came up with the notion that a World Championship roster should have:
1. Great table-setters at the top of the line-up, and
2. At least one SP who is not afraid of the post-season – a guy who wants the ball in the big game, and
3. A good/solid LHP in the pen, and
4. A good/solid LHP in the rotation, and
5. A back-up INF with good hands, and
6. A 4th OF who can hit, and
7. An effective guy in the pen who can start or relieve (in any inning), and
8. A shut-the-door closer, and
9. A catcher who is not an auto-out, and
10. Two guys in the middle of the line-up who make contact as well as drive the ball.
The Yankees might have some matches here, being:
1. Damon & Jeter
3. Myers and/or Villone
4. Johnson, again
10. Sheffield and Matsui
The items of concern above are numbers six and seven. Both of these guys could be busts in 2006 and then you’re looking at Crosby and Wright as their subs – and we know that they should not be effective players, if given the chance, most of the time. Maybe a come-backing Dotel helps here? But, that’s still a question-mark now.
And, it would not matter if the Yankees have items 1 through 10 if Mussina, Pavano, and at least one other member of the righties in the rotation bomb.
Still, it’s not unreasonable to expect league average seasons from Mussina, Pavano and the rest of the question marks. So, if they go something like 62-58 combined, and Randy Johnson goes something like 18-8, then the Yankees would still be in decent shape in terms of the standings.