Yesterday, Chad Jennings, who replaced Peter Abraham as the Yankees beat writer at the Journal News, posted a list of questions that the Yankees need to answer before the series with the Angels. We at the RJG have answered those questions. Here they are:
1. Should the Yankees change their roster?
Yes, as Chad suggests, Damaso Marte should be dropped. I would think that Brian Bruney would be the best addition they can make. He did better in the last few appearances of the season, and he'll certainly be in greater demand than Marte. Besides, will Marte really pitch any better than Bruney? Doubtful. The other option is pinch runner Freddy Guzman, but I think the extra arm could be more valuable.
2. How many starting pitchers do they need?
According to Chad, with the way the series plays, the Yankees could once again rely on a 3 man rotation with Sabathia pitching on short rest once. As Chad mentions, its something he's done in the past succesfully. Though the Yankees can skate by with a 3 man rotation, I suggest sticking with 4. The main reason being that we may need that 4th starter in the World Series, and they would be extremely rusty having not pitched since the end of September. The only reason I would not choose a 4 man rotation is if we're down in the series, or facing elimination.
3. If there is a fourth starter, who should it be?
4. Will Jose Molina once again catch A.J. Burnett?
Eh, why not? These games against the Angels are going to be a lot more about pitching than offense. Besides, having a bat like Posada's on the bench leaves Girardi with some major options late in the game. Its not ideal, but we should give Burnett every chance to succeed and even though he says he doesn't care who catches him the numbers simply don't lie, and since I don't really care to look the numbers up to back my statement, I will fabricate them:
AJ Burnett with Molina Catching - 2.06 ERA, 18 wins, 204 strikeouts, 4 walks.
AJ Burnett with Posada Catching - 8.96 ERA, 18 losses, 15 strikeouts, 2 trillion walks.