Let’s take another hypothetical look at the Rays postseason roster. Notes on the table can be found below [Ed. Note: This projection is what we think Joe Maddon will do. It is not necessarily what we think the Rays should do]…

Notes on the roster projection…

  • With a 4-man rotation

    , that gives Joe Maddon an extra spot to work with. In 2008, JoeMa went with 6 bats on the bench and only 6 relievers. At this point we think he will just go with 1 extra bat on the bench which opens up a spot for Dioner Navarro. That would allow Maddon to sub for his catcher late in the game.
  • Dan Johnson has been getting a lot of starts recently, so we now have him as a lock for the postseason.
  • If the roster above is correct, that means Brad Hawpe, Rocco Baldelli and Desmond Jennings are all on the outside looking in. Can you make a case for one of them over Dioner Navarro or possibly Andy Sonnanstine?
  • The 4th spot in the rotation is a spring training-style competition between Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis. Clearly Davis has the edge at this point, but each have 2 starts left to change Maddon’s mind. 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 7 relievers, that means no postseason for Jeremy Hellickson, Jake McGee or Lance Cormier. McGee would give Maddon an extra lefty, so maybe he gets the nod over Andy Sonnanstine or Chad Qualls. But we think Maddon would prefer to keep a long-reliever and a groundball specialist (Qualls).
  • Also, keep in mind that the Rays can make changes to the roster after each series in the postseason.
 
 

14 Comments

  1. Blake says:

    At this point I think he’ll take McGee over Sonny. Each has their value, but I believe that having an extra lefty out of the pen will allow Maddon to play matchups more…and we all know how much he loves matchups.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      I think this is going to be a tough one for Maddon. Obviously on a game-to-game basis, McGee makes more sense. But it only takes one starting pitcher getting knocked out in the 3rd inning and all of the sudden the Rays are in a lot if trouble with the bullpen.

  2. Chris says:

    Would you think there would be a difference if we open against the Twins on the road versus the Rangers at home or the same either way?

    • Cork Gaines says:

      Good point. As much as Maddon likes matchups, I’m sure the opponent will dictate the roster a little bit, especially for the 24th and 25th spots. For example, with Mauer and Thome on the Twins, that may make it more likely that McGee makes the roster.

  3. Alex says:

    Why not McGee over Wheeler? Does anyone really think even Maddon trusts him at this point?

    • Cork Gaines says:

      Because Maddon is fiercely loyal to his veterans. But, let’s just hope Wheeler doesn’t ever see the mound with a postseason game on the line. I’m not even sure Wheeler has confidence in Wheeler right now.

    • Don says:

      I can give you 3.5 mil reasons Wheeler is on the playoff roster…..2011 roster? I don’t think so!

    • Stephanie says:

      Why not McGee over Qualls? Qualls has gotten some key outs for the Rays, but he’s also not been that impressive overall. Plus he hasn’t been with the team all year.

  4. Mike says:

    I’d prefer Jennings over Navi. It is nice to have someone with his speed available on the bench. Someone who can tag from third on a ball to short right field is always a plus in the playoffs.

  5. Dave Estel says:

    I think this gives us the best shot (No matter the opponent/round):

    C John Jaso
    1B Carlos Pena
    2B Ben Zobrist
    3B Evan Longoria
    SS Jason Bartlett
    LF Carl Crawford
    CF BJ Upton
    RF Matt Joyce
    DH Dan Johnson

    Bench Sean Rodriguez
    Bench Reid Brignac
    Bench Willie Aybar
    Bench Dioner Navarro
    Bench Desmond Jennings

    SP David Price
    SP Matt Garza
    SP James Shields
    SP Wade Davis

    RP Rafael Soriano
    RP Joaquin Benoit
    RP Grant Balfour
    RP Randy Choate
    RP Dan Wheeler
    RP Chad Qualls
    RP Jake McGee

  6. Dan Johnson (not THAT Dan Johnson) says:

    Looking at Dan Johnson’s number, does anyone see him as a possible full time Pena replacement next year? Solid numbers at a Quarter of the price, with a lot less strike outs… any thoughts?

  7. steve says:

    This what I project for the roster:

    I like Baldelli over Jennings…right handed bat in RF or DH against lefties…still has speed…experience!

    Niemann as the long reliever. Wheeler has been a liability recently. McGee as the second lefty.

    C John Jaso
    1B Carlos Pena
    2B Ben Zobrist
    3B Evan Longoria
    SS Jason Bartlett
    LF Carl Crawford
    CF BJ Upton
    RF Matt Joyce
    DH Dan Johnson

    Bench Sean Rodriguez
    Bench Reid Brignac
    Bench Willie Aybar
    Bench Dioner Navarro
    Bench Rocco Baldelli

    SP David Price
    SP Matt Garza
    SP James Shields
    SP Wade Davis

    RP Rafael Soriano
    RP Joaquin Benoit
    RP Grant Balfour
    RP Randy Choate
    RP Jeff Niemann
    RP Chad Qualls
    RP Jake McGee

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