New York Yankees playoff roster, Cameron Maybin or Mike Tauchman?

Cameron Maybin (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Cameron Maybin (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

If the New York Yankees are able to get their injured players back, they’ll have to make some tough postseason roster decisions.

The New York Yankees season has been tumultuous by many accounts. They’ve overcome a plethora of injuries to have the best record in the American League. Some important roster decisions loom in the future.

When they drew up their preferred lineup at the beginning of the season, it included big names like Giancarlo Stanton, and Aaron Judge. Mike Tauchman was in Colorado. Cameron Maybin was in Cleveland. Neither player could have dreamed that they’d be making an impact this season for the Yankees.

Yet, here they are. Maybin was acquired for cash considerations early in the season. Tauchman was acquired just before the team broke for the regular season because of an injury to starting center fielder Aaron Hicks.

Both moves were considered afterthoughts. In fact, some fans were angry at the acquisition of Tauchman because he was an outfielder. Through the offseason when Brian Cashman all but stated he would not pursue superstar free agent Bryce Harper. One of his reasons was because he claimed the Bronx Bombers had too many outfielders.

None the less, both players have played very well through the course of the season. Tauchman is currently slashing .289/.370/.919 with a 2.5 WAR. Maybin is a 1.4 WAR player with a slash line of .309/.391/.915. Tauchman’s defense is a large reason for the difference in WAR.

What’s been surprising for both players is their production at the plate. Even the New York Yankees could not have expected these surprising contributions at the dish. What’s been more impressive is how the pair have integrated into the clubhouse. Tauchman has been a staple in social media pictures and has appeared on CC Sabathia’s R2C2 podcast.

Maybin is one of the more entertaining follows on social media and has become the master of hugs through the Yankees roster. Despite what both have done this season, their destiny appears to be as bench players once the postseason begins, assuming the injured players return.

Looking ahead to the postseason, the Yankees are hoping to have DJ LeMahieu, Judge, Stanton, Gary Sanchez, Luke Voit, Gleyber Torres, Gio Urshela, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Hicks, Edwin Encarnacion, Brett Gardner, and Austin Romine fill out their position group. How at-bats and position assignments will be divided remains to be seen at this point, but the above guys are locks for the postseason roster.

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The question lies if the New York Yankees decide to carry a 13th position player on the roster. Urshela and Gregorius are the most likely infielders to be on the bench depending on how Aaron Boone decides to configure the lineup. Brett Gardner’s speed and defense will be used as a late-inning weapon. Romine is the team’s backup catcher.

Which begs the question of who they’d keep between Maybin and Tauchman as the main candidates should they carry an extra position player. Tauchman’s defense is better, but he is a little repetitive with Gardner’s left-handed bat.

Maybin adds speed and another right-handed bat to the bench in the outfield. He’s capable of hitting and has the postseason pedigree that the Yankees tend to crave this time of year.

In addition, Maybin has more speed and is a better base runner than Tauchman who has been reckless at times. Tauchman has been the all-around better player, but the nod goes to Maybin because of his speed and right-handed bat.

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It’s likely the Yankees will prefer the diversity in the roster and the veteran presence that Maybin provides.