While the Yankees have yet to finalize their playoff roster, intrigue around how the team will deploy their pitching staff in the ALDS against the Twins continues to rise.
One player in particular who could have a different role in the playoffs is lefty J.A. Happ, who didn't have a stellar campaign in his first full season as a Yankee. The lefty finished the year with a 12-8 record, pitching to a 5.22 ERA and 1.295 WHIP.
Despite those iffy regular season numbers, the veteran is anxiously awaiting what the postseason has in store for the Bombers.
"I think we're all anxious to get there and for (Friday) to come," Happ said on Wednesday. "I think we're focusing on ourselves. We've got a good team and we know what we're facing, the best of the best from here on out. We're expecting to show up with a lot of energy Friday."
The 36-year-old did have a terrific month of September, pitching to a 1.61 ERA over his final four starts. During that span, he allowed just four earned runs while striking out 22 batters.
But Happ's final appearance of the season was his first as a reliever, as he pitched the second-through-sixth inning against the Rays on September 25. That day, the Yankees used Jonathan Loaisiga as an opener, and whether he or Chad Green is used in that role in October, Happ could be used as a bullpen option in those situations.
On Wednesday, Happ said he's willing to take on whatever role the Yankees ask of him.
"I think it's whatever it takes, whatever you can do to try to win the ball game," Happ said. "I'll be ready for whatever role. Hopefully we find that out as we move along here."
The lefty also said that he hasn't yet been given any indication for what his role might be in the ALDS and beyond.
"Just be ready on Friday and we'll go from there," Happ said. "I think it will be a game-to-game type of thing."
As for the Yankees' opponent in the ALDS, the high-powered Twins, Happ knows what they're capable of as a team, but is instead keeping the focus within the Yankees' clubhouse.
"Well, we know they can hit a lot of home runs, they're a really good team, and they're pretty dynamic as well," said Happ. "But again, I think we're focusing on ourselves and just trying to stay within ourselves and execute."