Torre to mull final playoff roster spots
Skipper to decide on 15th position player vs. 11th hurler
BOSTON -- As the Yankees take the six-hour flight to Southern California to meet the Angels in the American League Division Series, manager Joe Torre will have some decisions to make regarding his postseason roster.
"They're tough, but they're not something we're going to haggle over," Torre said. "We're trying to gather as much information as we can, look at matchups and see which way we want to go."
Fourteen position players and 10 pitchers have secured spots on the active roster for the first round of the playoffs, but Torre and his coaches must decide whether it makes sense to take an 11th pitcher or a 15th position player.
Infielders Jason Giambi, Tino Martinez, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Bellhorn; catchers Jorge Posada and John Flaherty and outfielders Gary Sheffield, Bernie Williams, Hideki Matsui, Ruben Sierra and Bubba Crosby will all be on the roster.
The 14th spot should go to Tony Womack, who is the Yankees' best stolen-base threat off the bench.
Should they decide to take an 11th pitcher, it looks as though that decision will be between left-hander Alan Embree and right-hander Jaret Wright. If Torre opts for the position player, it would likely be Matt Lawton, unless he is taken as one of the 14 instead of Womack.
The 10 pitchers on the roster are expected to be starters Mike Mussina, Randy Johnson, Shawn Chacon, Chien-Ming Wang and Aaron Small, and relievers Mariano Rivera, Tom Gordon, Tanyon Sturtze, Al Leiter and Scott Proctor.
Leiter and Proctor were informed by Torre before Sunday's game that they had made the playoff roster.
"When he told me, I really didn't even know how to react," Proctor said. "It was excitement and relief. It all begins now; anything you have done up to now doesn't mean anything."
Proctor's inclusion comes as somewhat of a surprise, though he showed Torre a lot on Friday night by retiring Manny Ramirez with two men on base.
Proctor served up a three-run homer to Ramirez on Sunday, but Torre said -- without mentioning names -- that nothing from Sunday's game would change his mind on any of his decisions.
Torre wouldn't tip his hand on Sunday night, saying that he had not made a decision, adding that he could potentially take two left-handed relievers for the Division Series.
Reserve players Mike Vento, Andy Phillips and relievers Ramiro Mendoza and Felix Rodriguez will go home from Boston. Left-hander Wayne Franklin and infielder Felix Escalona will report to the Yankees' complex in Tampa to work out in case they are needed beyond the first round.
Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.