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.