Manager Aaron Boone -- along with the rest of the Yankees staff -- still has some decisions to make regarding the ALDS roster. But Boone said on Wednesday that those will come in their final meetings Wedneday night to finalize their best 25-man group in their mind.
Boone, though, has a vision in his mind right now of how his group will shake out.
"In my head right now, I'm pretty clear about which way we're going to go," he said. "In my mind, it's starting to come together how I pick us lining up our starters, what our roster looks like. Again, it's about us meeting today and kinda finalizing those things. I can certainly envision how it might look and how we might roll it out."
That starter decision will be interesting to see. Boone says he has confidence in all of his starters, but how he will line them up is still not written in stone.
"No. Hopefully finalize that today," he said. "Still going through a couple conversations with that and then wanted to get with each guy and let them know where we're out."
There will be tough decisions made as to who won't make the roster, with Boone mentioning "the two or three guys we're considering for that final spot." However, he has full confidence in the "savages" he'll have with him to start this run to the World Series on Friday.
"Let me put it this way: I'm always concerned about our team," he said when asked if there are any concerns with his team. "...I do feel like we'll be in a position starting Friday where I know the guys will be in a right frame of mind."
Here's some other noteworthy takes from Boone regarding the Yankees heading into this ALDS matchup against the Twins...
No CC decision just yet
CC Sabathia transitioned to the bullpen at the end of the season to see if he could work in that role. Being in his final MLB season, he obviously wants to be a part of a hopeful title run and has noted he'll do whatever the team wants him to.
Boone responded "we have not" when asked whether or not a decision on Sabathia has been made. They want to make sure he's healthy, first of all, and whether that reliever role is one he'll be able to be effective in.
Edwin Encarnacion, Gio Urshela look ready to go
The veteran slugger has been out with an oblique strain, but Boone sounded confident when asked about his status.
"Good. He's out there hitting right now. That's why I was a little late," he said about Encarnacion. "He's having his last at-bat. Had a full sim day yesterday."
"Smoked a couple balls out there, hit a homer. Yesterday really cut loose with some."
Boone noted that Encarnacion was taking full swings and misses, and that's where you normally see any discomfort if any. There wasn't any, so it looks like he should be good to go Friday.
The same goes for Urshela, who Boone was quick to say was okay.
"Yeah, Gio's good. I'm not concerned," Boone said. "He had a full workout yesterday and he's good to go."
Boone sheds some light on first base plans
With Luke Voit struggling to end the season and Mike Ford red-hot at the plate, it was worth asking Boone what he thinks about his first base situation. And not just these two are in the conversation, but DJ LeMahieu and Encarnacion are also options there.
"Well, DJ is certainly an option there," Boone explained. "Feel like as long as Edwin gets through today, we'll be in a really good position from a health standpoint to make the best decision. Obviously the guys here [we're] thinking of, we feel confident in their ability to impact us. So those will be the conversations we have today."
Ford could be among those two or three players the Yankees are thinking about for that final roster spot. Either way, they certainly have their options at first. It's a matter of who Boone is most confident in putting there.
Didi's slump not scaring Boone
Didi Gregorius has been mired in a slump, with his September totals looking like this: .190/.247/.380, three HR, 16 RBI over 20 games.
That's not the finish the Yankees would like to see from their shortstop, but Boone isn't sweating it. He believes Gregorius' play actually picks up when the pressure begins to increase in October.
"I'm counting on Didi playing a huge role for us," Boone said. "I mean, he struggled here a little bit in this final month but know that it's certainly in there. He's one of those guys I feel like will be better off in this kind of environment and these kind of games. If we're going to go far, Didi's going to play a big role in that."
Paxton has what it takes to flourish in first postseason
James Paxton finished his second half without losing a game, and owning a 3.63 ERA. So he comes into his first postseason experience pitching at his best, and that's exactly what Boone is expecting him to do.
"I expect him to go pitch really well...He's got all the weapons and all the equipment to go out there and be great. I feel like through the course of the year, he's really done a good job in kinda settling in to being hear in New York, being a Yankee. I feel like, especially in the second half of the season, his focus, his conviction, and his confident has been excellent."
Whether or not he gets the ball in Game 1 or Game 2 is still to be seen.
Boone not entertaining Yanks' dominance over Twins
One reporter pointed out that the Yankees are 99-37 in recent games against the Twins. That's a .728 win percentage, which would put them heavily in favor of winning this matchup.
Boone isn't looking at the history of things, though. He knows Minnesota will be coming in trying to "slay the dragon" like they said when the Yankees were locked in as their opponent.
"Teams change. I mean, all I know is we're up against a really good opponent," Boone said. "So I don't at all get caught up in the history of it. I just think there's so many guys that had nothing to do with some of that."