Imagining a playoff roster without Ibanez and Jones

There is slightly more than two weeks left in the season and while the AL East isn’t guaranteed for the Yankees the chances that they at least pull in a Wild Card are likely. So I wanted to take a look at a possible playoff roster today, but one where my dream is fulfilled and the Yankees stopped using the putrid Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones.

A lot of Yankees fans haven’t noticed yet, but since his amazing month of May, when he hit .288/.333/.613, Ibanez has been terrible. And lately he’s been even worse than terrible. Since the Yankees got Ichiro Suzuki, Ibanez has hit a terribly pathetic .176/.282/.333 over his last 40 games. Even strictly against right handed hitters he has hit just .183/.295/.378 in that span. For a guy who was signed to hit righties, he’s not doing his job well.

Lately even in Yankee Stadium, where Ibanez thrived in April, June, and July even when he struggled overall, he has been terrible. He’s hit .175/.267/.275 in his last 17 games while aiming at the short porch. Anyway you look at it, large sample size, small sample size, home/away, righty/lefty, outside of one hot month of May he’s been awful and should be left off the playoff roster.

Jones is even worse. Instead of one good month, he had one good series (the weekend before the All-Star break in Boston). Jones was signed to hit lefties and has hit just .200/.289/.394 against them in 190 plate appearances this season. Believe it or not, he’s actually hitting better against righties this year although his numbers there, .188/.297/.406 are bad as well. After a bad first half, he’s actually gotten worse and has hit just .143/.259/.235 in 39 games overall.

The two of them, Jones and Ibanez, have no business playing in the playoffs at all. Instead the Yankees should carry Chris Dickerson and Eduardo Nunez on the playoff roster.

Carrying Dickerson and Nunez over Ibanez and Jones would provide the Yankees with a backup outfielder who can actually play the outfield competently and some speed off the bench. Not to mention it would be addition by subtraction as any at bats by the old men has come close to automatic outs these days.

The Yankees wouldn’t even need Dickerson or Nunez to bat and in Nunez’s case play the field. Derek Jeter will handle all of the playoff innings at shortstop. In case of an emergency Nunez could play short, but Jayson Nix could also cover it. Dickerson would be more in case of an emergency, occasional pinch runner type. Of course, he should probably be used in place of Curtis Granderson in center late in games too.

Here is what the playoff roster would look like if I had any say in it:

THE REGULARS (not the starting lineup):

Derek Jeter, SS
Nick Swisher, RF
Robinson Cano, 2B
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Curtis Granderson, CF
Russell Martin, C
Ichiro Suzuki, LF

THE ROTATION:

CC Sabathia
Hiroki Kuroda
Andy Pettitte
Phil Hughes

THE BULLPEN:

Rafael Soriano
David Robertson
Boone Logan
Joba Chamberlain
Clay Rapada
Ivan Nova (long-man)
David Phelps (I originally had Freddy Garcia here, but clearly Phelps is the better option).

THE BENCH:

Eric Chavez (starts at 3B vs RHP, pinch hitter for Martin vs RHRP)
Casey McGehee (starts at DH vs LHP, pinch hitter for Ichiro vs LHRP)
Jayson Nix (utility infielder)
Chris Stewart (emergency catcher)
Chris Dickerson (backup outfielder)
Eduardo Nunez (pinch runner)

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11 Responses to Imagining a playoff roster without Ibanez and Jones

  1. mike says:

    i would dh nunez over mcgehee against left handers as you would still have nix on the bench to cover infield spots in case of emergency and theres no need for 2 long men theyre better off just leaving garcia off the roster and fill that spot with another pitcher who can be a middle reliever or mop up

  2. Matt_DC says:

    Good piece, Rob. This would be a leaner, playoff ready roster than watching Jones and Ibanez swinging for the fences. I agree with Mike that I would leave off Freddy. David Phelps' versatility and E.R.A. have earned him a playoff spot (if I were doing the rosters, anyway).

    • Duh, I forgot Phelps entirely. I was even looking at the roster to make sure I didn't miss anybody. I think he easily gets a spot over Phelps just for versatility's sake alone. Nevermind Wade.

  3. mike says:

    agree with matt, david phelps i think provides much more value to the postseason roster than garcia. phelps isnt constricted to being a long man only, hes proved this year to be a solid reliever in just about any role. i would definitely add phelps

  4. mike says:

    hopefully lowe doesnt find his way onto the roster either

  5. Keena says:

    I'd pick Steve Pearce over Mcgehee. I think he's primed for a huge post season if he gets to play.

    • Well you go with McGehee over Pearce because McGehee hits lefties much better than Pearce does so you get a starting DH vs LHP who isn't Andruw Jones. You could just use A-Rod as the DH vs LHP, but then Chavez is terrible against lefties so you would have to start Nix at 3rd.

  6. Hudson says:

    Great article Rob…but I disagree with McGehee over Pearce. Their stats are marginally the same but it is Pearce on the upside. This season he is a solid bottom of the order hitter. Can play 1st base or RF.

  7. Fred says:

    Good article here. I'm a fan of Chris Dickerson, but if Gardner is healthy enough I think he should take that spot. After all, Dickerson's primary role would be to play the field and run the bases, and Gardner is supposedly able to do that now, and would be better at both than Dickerson.

    Obviously the catches are
    1. He can't bat, which is mitigated by the fact that we wouldn't want Dickerson batting either. Though still not ideal, especially if a game goes to extras/Girardi goes sub crazy

    2. His health is still in question, if he's not at 100% he might not be an upgrade over Dickerson at this point.

    Something I think they should consider anyway. I'm very curious to see how they use Gardner from here on out, if at all.

  8. Bill says:

    No to McGehee, yes to Ibanez. He's an experienced pro and appears to have snapped his funk. McGehee just hasn't shown enough to be on the roster. Of course, if Teixeira can't make it, then McGehee (or Pearce) will have to be there.