Yankees leave Eduardo Nunez off ALCS roster, add Cody Eppley

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The Yankees just announced their roster for the ALCS against the Tigers. And yes, Alex Rodriguez is on it.

According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, infielder Eduardo Nunez has been left off the roster while right-hander Cody Eppley has been added. The Yankees had 11 pitchers and 14 position players for the ALDS against the Orioles, but they’ll go with 12 pitchers this time around.

Andy Pettitte will oppose Doug Fister in Game 1 of the series tonight, but Joe Girardi has yet to announce any plans beyond that. However, carrying Eppley is a possible indication that David Phelps will start Game 2 tomorrow. The alternative would be to use Hiroki Kuroda on short rest.

Yankees to hire Josh Bard as their new bench coach

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Aaron Boone has no experience as a coach or a manager at any level. As such, some have speculated that he’d hire a more seasoned hand as his bench coach as he begins his first season as Yankees manager. Someone like, say, Eric Wedge, who was a candidate for the job Boone got and who once managed Boone in Cleveland.

Nope. According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, he’s going with Josh Bard.

Bard, 39, was a teammate of Boone’s with the Indians in 2005. He’s not without coaching experience, having spent the last two seasons as the Dodgers’ bullpen coach, but he’s not that Gene Lamont/Don Zimmer-type we often see in the bench coach role.

Which is fine because different managers want different things from their bench coach. Some are strategy guys, helping with in-game decision making. Others are relationship guys who help managers understand all of the dynamics of the clubhouse while they’re worrying more about lineups and stuff. Others are trust guys, who can serve as the manager’s sounding board, among other things. Some are combinations of all of these things. As Feinsand notes in his story, Boone said at his introductory press conference that he’s looking for this:

“I want smart sitting next to me. I want confidence sitting next to me. I want a guy who can walk out into that room and as I talk about relationships I expect to have with my players, I expect that even to be more so with my coaching staff. Whether that is a guy with all kinds of experience or little experience. I am not concerned about that.”