For the last several weeks, every team in contention has been scouting potential matchups in advance of the postseason. “If you’re advance scouting us here in September, I think we’re holding back all our big plays,” joked Brian Cashman over the weekend. “We’re saving hopefully our best for October, and we’re playing possum in September.” I’m not sure how much a baseball team can hold back, but given how poorly the Yankees played in September, I sure hope they have some tricks up their sleeve.
Anyway, both Keith Law (Yanks, Twins) (Insider req’d) and Frankie Piliere (Yanks, Twins) posted scouting reports of every club that qualified for the postseason today. They both note the same positives for the Yanks; a powerhouse offense that will work pitchers to the bone and a bullpen that excels at missing bats. Of course the rotation question marks behind CC Sabathia are very real, but it’s comforting to be reminded that on any given day Andy Pettitte, Phil Hughes, and even A.J. Burnett is capable of spinning a gem.
As for the Twins, both KLaw and Piliere consider this year’s team to be stronger than last year’s, but they still have the potential to get burned by a pitching staff that relies on pitching to contact. That approach can work with good glovework, but Minnesota is atrocious defensively in the outfield corners and they’ve been known to shoot themselves in the foot at key times despite being a fundamentally sound club. Make sure you give all the reports a read, they’re great overviews of what we’re in store for later this week.