09/30/11 7:50 PM ET
Yanks go with three starters, eight in 'pen for DS
Burnett and Hughes will be available for multiple relief innings
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
New York will carry an 11-man pitching staff in the first round, planning on having CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia to be the only hurlers tabbed for starts.
Sabathia would draw the assignment on short rest in a potential Game 4, while Nova would line up for Game 5.
The eight-man bullpen is headed by closer Mariano Rivera, with Rafael Soriano and David Robertson serving as setup men. Boone Logan is the lone left-hander in the relief corps.
New York's other relievers include Luis Ayala, Cory Wade and two hurlers who spent time in the team's rotation this year: A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes, who both could offer the ability to pitch multiple innings if needed.
"It was pretty much as anticipated," manager Joe Girardi said. "There were some things that we talked about, but we went with our normal bullpen and we added A.J. down there. He's had some success against the Tigers, and we thought we'd get some length."
Burnett was 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA in two starts against Detroit this year, including posting the Yankees' first victory of the year back on April 2 with five innings of three-run ball. Girardi indicated that there is a "good possibility" Burnett would make a start if the Yankees advance to the AL Championship Series.
Rookie Jesus Montero, 21, has made the club as a backup catcher behind starter Russell Martin. Jorge Posada will serve as the designated hitter against all four right-handed Detroit starters, while also filling a role as an emergency catcher.
"[Posada has] experience," Girardi said. "He's had some success against some of these right-handers, and that's why. He's been in these games so many times."
Behind the starting infield of first baseman Mark Teixeira, second baseman Robinson Cano, shortstop Derek Jeter and third baseman Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees are carrying two backup infielders -- Eric Chavez and Eduardo Nunez.
New York's starting outfield of Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher will be backed up by both Andruw Jones and Chris Dickerson, the latter of whom offers a late-inning defensive replacement or pinch-running option.
"We could have done some different other things," Girardi said. "We could have left some different people off, but you look at the outfield in Detroit, how big it is -- it's nice to have Dickerson."
Notable players bypassed for New York's first-round roster included right-handers Bartolo Colon and Hector Noesi, left-hander Raul Valdes and catcher Austin Romine.