After Dan Johnson hit his last home run versus the Red Sox, we think there was a general assumption that his job here was done and that the clock had struck midnight. But after last night’s 2-home run performance against the Yankees, one has to wonder if The Great Pumpkin will get to keep playing in October.

Let’s take a hypothetical look at the Rays postseason roster. Notes on the table can be found below…

Notes on the roster projection…

  • With a 4-man rotation, that gives Joe Maddon an

    extra spot to work with. We think he will go with the extra reliever, but wouldn’t be surprised if he chose a fifth bat for his bench. If Maddon does choose an extra bat, we think that fifth bench spot would go to Dioner Navarro. That would allow Maddon to sub for his catcher late in the game.
  • Right now we have Dan Johnson on the roster. Can anybody make a case for Brad Hawpe or Rocco Baldelli?
  • The 4th spot in the rotation is a spring training-style competition between Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis. Flip a coin at this point. The loser is likely to be off the postseason roster unless you can make a case for Niemann or Davis over Andy Sonnanstine in the bullpen.
  • If Joe Maddon does go with 8 relievers, we give Jake McGee the edge over Jeremy Hellickson and the fifth starter. McGee gives Maddon an extra lefty. Besides, we have a feeling Hellboy is about to get shutdown.


  1. cg says:

    what happened to Hellboy? Wish they let him get some starts and rest some guys. He was murdering it. sigh

  2. Hal says:

    Man, this is tough. Don't you have to go Navi over Shoppach? Superior defense, at least equal hitting. The Niemann / Davis thing is interesting - since the DL stint, one could argue that Davis has been our 2nd best starter and Niemann has been a tire fire. My guess is they go extra bat, short pen so no McGee and the final spot comes down to Desmond vs. Hawpe. I'd favor Desmond to fill the '08 Nando role (I think we forget how important he was that year).

  3. Sarah says:

    Question -- is the post season roster set for the entire post season (barring injuries) or can they make changes between the ALDS ALCS and World series?

  4. Cork Gaines says:

    Just went back and looked at '08 ALDS roster. Amazingly, Maddon went with 6 bats on the bench and only 6 relievers. So he will probably go with at least 5 bats on the bench. That means Navi is in and McGee is out.

    But what if he wants a 6th bat on the bench. My guess is Hawpe would get that spot. But what pitcher would be out? Qualls?

  5. Dude says:

    I guess I look at this differently. I would be starting Hellickson right now instead of Niemann (harsh I know) and if he gets back into that groove, he would be my 4th starter. I would keep Niemann in the case of a meltdown and I would not have Qualls on my roster. Go with Price/Garza/Shields/Hellickson and a pen of RS/JB/GB/AS/RN/RC

    Dan Johnson should get a spot based on freaking loyalty alone - He can be our Jim Leyrtiz/Bernie Carbo clutch 3 run homer PH - becuase I would play Aybar at DH every day. He hit the big homer the other night - but he isn't playing enough to be confident. If you would play him every day, he would be more than fine.

    I would go with Navi over Shoppach, keep Brignac and Joyce so I need 2 RH sticks - Baldelli and definitely Jennings? In my mind Hawpe is out. I agree with the Jennings = Fernando angle - man, Fernando was the Jose Oquendo secret weapon of the 08 playoffs.

  6. Sledge says:

    Don't you think he takes a pure right-handed bat for the bench? With Texas and NYY aces from the left, would he want to be limited to Aybar? That means either Shopp gets the edge over Navi or Rocco is a lock.

  7. Gus says:

    Baldelli, Davis, Hellickson (if he can recover) should be on;

    Aybar, Sonny and McGee have to be off from your list.

    McGee may be lefty, but he was not ready for this based on the other night. Hard to think you can make a roster as good as this one by just be lefty lights out in the minors without showing you can be lights out up here.

    Davis has been their second best starter and of he doesn't start, at least has the profile to be a good reliever.

  8. John S says:

    I really do not see how you can even consider Jeff being on any proposed rotation even as a 4th, that should go to Davis. You have to go with the best pitchers that you have at the time. Jeff and Wade have gone in completely different directions since their DL stays

  9. Yo says:

    Either shut Hell Boy down or start him. Period.

  10. Don says:

    Sonnanstein can't possibly be on ANY playoff team in baseball, put my mother on the team first! How could he play mop up in the playoffs...someone going to win 13 to 2 ???

  11. Pipp says:

    Keep in mind that Hellickson, Sonnanstine, McGee, Jennings, Baldelli, and Navarro are all ineligible for the post-season because they weren't on the 25-man roster on August 31.

    The Rays have a little flexibility with Lobaton's and Howell's post-season slots, but to add more than 2 from this list (1 hitter, 1 pitcher) would require some more creative injuries from the FO.

    If Niemann doesn't make the post-season, I wouldn't be surprised if his shoulder injury flares up again.

    • Hal says:

      Bingo. And remember Sonny's been "injured" too; he had an injured left roster spot or something like that. Those things are known to flare up from time to time.

    • Alex says:

      Please you think that will stop the Rays? Lol

      I think Sonny gets left off and Davis is the fourth starter unless Niemann gets it together. They'll probably keep Desmond Jennings for his speed in one or all of the rounds ala Fernando Perez in 08. The Rays have a lot of slow guys and Desmond could be that wild card for us.

  12. Brian H says:

    i prefer baldeli over aybar. aybar has had all year to make a difference to step it up. however looks like joe is sticking with willy, baldelli just not getting the at bats to prove he is deserving of roster spot.

  13. Kyra says:

    I do not agree. I would say bye-bye to Qualls & put whoever is left (Niemann or Davis) in the pen. I do not see Joe leaving one of his starting pitchers off the play-off roster.

    For making a case for Hawpe or Baldelli; Hawpe hit a grand slam and 2 other homeruns. Baldelli pinch-hit and had a homerun. I feel we have barley seen Rocco & I agree with Brian H; rather him than Aybar.

    But with Rocco it is trying to find a roster spot.

    We have no idea what is actually going to happen. Maybe Joe will just blow our minds.

  14. Stephanie says:

    Davis has to be your fourth starter. He's pitched very well lately while Niemann has struggled.

    I'd only want Hawpe around if there was little to no chance he would see any time in the field.


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