Here is today’s lineup and the entire ALDS roster…

TODAY’S LINEUP (vsLHP)
Jason Bartlett, SS
BJ Upton, CF
Carl Crawford, LF
Evan Longoria, 3B
Carlos Pena, 1B
Rocco Baldelli, DH
Ben Zobrist, RF
Kelly Shoppach, C
Sean Rodriguez, 2B

BENCH

John Jaso
Reid Brignac
Dan Johnson
Desmond Jennings
Matt Joyce

STARTING PITCHERS
David Price
James Shields
Matt Garza
Wade Davis

BULLPEN
Rafael Soriano
Joaquin Benoit
Grant Balfour
Dan Wheeler
Jeff Niemann
Randy Choate
Chad Qualls

PLAYERS NOT ON ROSTER (Still with team)
Willy Aybar
Jeremy Hellickson
Jake McGee
Andy Sonnanstine

PLAYERS NOT ON ROSTER (sent home)
Dioner Navarro
Brad Hawpe
Lance Cormier
Mike Ekstrom

Gotta say we are surprised to see Jennings and Rocco instead of Aybar and Navarro. Almost everything else jives with what we thought would happen including Niemann over Sonnanstine.

The players not on the roster, but still with the team could potentially be added to the roster should somebody get injured or if needed for a potential ALCS matchup.

 
 

30 Comments

  1. Beth says:

    So the ones “sent home” couldn’t even be added for an ALCS round or if someone gets injured?

    • Cork Gaines says:

      They could still be added to the playoff roster, but I took that move to mean that the Rays told them there is no chance of it happening. Now, if 2-3 players get hurt, the Rays will certainly have 1 or 2 of these guys come back

  2. Michael says:

    Rocco’s inclusion might surprise people the most, but with the Rangers probably starting 4 lefties in this series if goes to 5 (Lee in Games 1 and 4, Wilson in 2 and 5) Rocco’s RH bat makes sense to me. He came up big a number of times down the stretch and in the playoffs in 2008, I really think he can do it again if you limit him to DH against lefties and just a few innings here and there in RF.

    Hellickson being left off I saw coming — he wasn’t going to start and didn’t show he could be very effective as a reliever so far.

    What’s really disappointing to me is McGee being left off, I really think that’s a mistake. Will Jennings’ pinch running and possible late inning defense end up being more important than having a second lefty to face Hamilton in a big spot?

    One question: I get that one of either Jennings or Rocco gets Lobaton’s spot on the roster, but who’s spot does the other take? Or was one up before Sept 1? No pitcher takes Howell’s spot (Balfour was on the DL on Sept 1 so he’s eligible). Am I missing something?

  3. Don says:

    NOTHING surprises me anymore…I feel lot of these moves are made for “shock” value….3 guys hitting LESS than .200 and a guy who has hit 24 times for the season…3 of our best OFF the rooster…Go figure!

    • KillaTapes says:

      Who are the three best that got left off the “rooster”? If you say Aybar is one of our best than you’re just plain crazy.

      • Don says:

        Well I don’t know what you have been watching over the last three years
        Aybar has more “clutch” hits than the 3 bums on the rooster put together…I go for performance when it counts….not nice guys or over-the hill veterans…Like everyone’s good buddy…ole Joe…

  4. Gus says:

    The tough thing about this series is that the players who have been generally among the hottest bats in September (it is realtive, I realize) — Joyce, Pumpkin, Jaso, Brignac — are on the bench for most of the series. Hopefully Joyce and Jaso get to start against Wilson.

    I think the Rays have the best record in MLB against LH pitching (and AL LH pitching is especially nasty), but you look at this line up and think, how on earth did that happen? Need BJ and Longo to channel the 2008 playoffs right about now.

    • Beth says:

      I couldn’t agree more with your point that it’s hard to fathom how the Rays have a good record against lefties, given who plays in that platoon.

      How are those stats calculated, anyway? Is it victories in games started by lefties, or victories for the Rays in which the losing pitcher is left-handed? Maybe they’ve been getting stymied for 7 innings by a lefty starter and then win the game with a few runs against less effective relievers?

      • Gus says:

        It is games started, so it is a little misleading. That said, Maddon doesn’t wholesale platoon when the starter comes out, so it is some measure of the effectiveness of this righty heavy lineup.

        Of all of Maddon’s accomplishments, if he can get these guys to beat Lee again, that may be his greatest feat. (Having Price on your side doesn’t hurt). Hopefully, Nolan Ryan’s “pitch your arm off” approach to starting pitching will rear its ugly head in this series.

  5. Gatorbuc15 says:

    Very glad to see that Hawpe was left off the playoff roster. Would have been a very stupid move to keep him on.
    Although it wouldn’t have suprised me.

  6. I wish Hellboy and Hawpe would have made it…

  7. Dre says:

    I know someone is going to jump on me for this comment, but whatever. I know the general prediction of Sonny not making was accurate, and Wheeler making too. And I know you can’t necessarily compare their pitching to one another. But, I really think Sonny eternally gets the raw deal from Joe. He stepped it up pretty well when we needed him to start. He’s also obviously great for morale (how many times did you feature his bobblehead artwork?) And, let’s hope that Shields the Imploder doesn’t strike and we need a legitimate long reliever. Wheeler has not done much this year, and frankly to me it’s a toss-up between him and Qualls. I have trouble understanding keeping both of them and leaving Sonny off. And I can’t help but feel bad for the guy. That’s gotta feel like a bit of a slap in the face.

    • Beth says:

      I agree that Sonny definitely wins the award for “best sport,” going from part of postseason starting rotation to afterthought in under two years, without a major injury or meltdown to blame. But I think guys like Qualls are better at coming in with men on base and getting the needed ground ball, while Niemann will fill the long relief role. Sonny still gets to sit on the bench and will still get his share of the postseason money. Think Jonny Gomes in 2008.

      Actually, the suggestion I liked best came from someone posting on one of these threads, who thought Sonny should be our DH. He’s a good hitter, and if you gave him a few weeks of batting practice he ought to be at least as productive as Hawpe has been.

    • Gatorbuc15 says:

      Why would anyone jump on you for making this comment? I too wish that Andy had made the roster. I just don’t feel the same way about Wheeler. I think Qualls has done a little better this year IMO.

  8. Connie says:

    I’m getting nervous. Is there going to be a game thread anywhere? Can’t watch at work so will have to get the skinny from those who can watch

  9. leningan says:

    espn1040.com for those looking to listent on the webs…

  10. Indiana Rays Boy says:

    Rays….DONE!!!! Cliff Lee is mowing them down and tomorrow it is baseball hell for the Rays with Shields pitching. If the Rays don’t win the World Series this year, Maddon should start getting some heat for this debacle along with his puppet hitting coach. This hitting coach made some of this players worse than they are already are. How come the Rays getting somebody in the NL and can’t hit and a team like Texas get a guy like Franceour and suddenly he can hit the ball.

  11. hellrayser says:

    I love The Rocco Baldelli Story as much as the next guy. It’s going to make a great movie someday.

    He’s still about the last Ray I want to see at the plate when the bases are loaded. (Just behind Carlos Pena.)

  12. HARBORGAL says:

    I was at the game today, and watching Cliff Lee make mincemeat out of Rocco with the bases loaded was sad. I love Rocco, but he had only 24 at bats this year, and he was not ready. Aybar would have been a better choice.

  13. David says:

    I am shocked that Aybar is out and Rocco is in. Game 1 could have had a totally different feel to it. The seven game series is bound to expose each teams weakness and Rays already have their backs to the wall.

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