Yanks finalize ALCS roster with Guzman
Speedster replaces Hinske, adds pinch-runner to bench
NEW YORK -- The Yankees finalized their 25-man roster for the American League Championship Series on Friday morning, replacing slugger Eric Hinske with speedy pinch-runner Freddy Guzman.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi first revealed the switch on Thursday. All other roster spots remained constant from New York's three-game sweep of the Twins in the AL Division Series, in which Hinske did not appear.
"We thought that we could use another speed guy in this round," Girardi said. "We've had some success doing those types of things late in games. In a seven-game series, we felt that it could come up late in games."
Guzman, 28, appeared in 10 games with the Yankees after being acquired from the Orioles on Aug. 31.
Making his debut as a pinch-runner against the Angels on Sept. 14 and impressing by going quickly from first to third, Guzman batted just .167 (1-for-6) but was successful in four out of five steal attempts.
Hinske, 32, batted .226 (19-for-84) with seven home runs and 14 RBIs in 39 games with the Yankees after being acquired from the Pirates in June.
While he has played in the past two World Series with the Red Sox and Rays, Tampa Bay left Hinske off its ALCS roster in 2008 before activating him for the World Series.
Girardi said that there is a possibility that Brett Gardner could start over center fielder Melky Cabrera in one of the ALCS games, which made carrying Guzman more appealing. Cabrera hit .167 (2-for-12) in the ALDS.
"The games against Minnesota were very close, and sometimes you can use a couple of pinch-runners," Girardi said. "If Gardy gets a start, then you don't have a pinch-runner. It just frees us up to do some more things."
With CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte set for starts in the ALCS, the Yankees' bullpen will fill in behind closer Mariano Rivera and setup men Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain.
Two left-handers are on the roster in Phil Coke and Damaso Marte, and also assisting in relief are righties Alfredo Aceves, Chad Gaudin -- the potential Game 4 starter in the event of a rainout -- and David Robertson.
Three catchers are on the roster, with Jorge Posada backed up again by Jose Molina and Francisco Cervelli. The infield will be comprised of Mark Teixeira at first base, Robinson Cano at second base, Derek Jeter at shortstop and Alex Rodriguez at third base. Jerry Hairston Jr. is a reserve.
Outfielders on the roster include left fielder Johnny Damon, center fielder Cabrera and right fielder Nick Swisher, plus Gardner, Guzman and designated hitter Hideki Matsui.
Guzman was summoned from the Yankees' workout facilities in Tampa, Fla., where he had been sent to keep playing in the event he was needed for the ALCS. Right-handers Brian Bruney and Sergio Mitre continue to stand by there, as well as infielder Ramiro Pena, in the event they are needed for a potential World Series against the Dodgers or Phillies.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.