With just 10 games left until October 1st, when the season ends, the playoff roster remains a mystery. I think we all have a pretty good idea that certain players will be on the roster.
I left off Adrian Gonzalez because he is not anywhere near healthy. The Dodgers would love to have him on the roster, if not just out of respect for who he is, but he is obviously a long way from healthy. I think he is facing back surgery or retirement. Some think Farmer should be on the playoff roster, but that is only if the intend to play Barnes at 2B and so far, that does not appear to be in their plans. Utley and Forsythe will be a strict platoon at 2B… and that’s fine.
Besides, Farmer is not familiar with this pitching staff at all. I am not going to put Kershaw’s slam on anyone but Clayton. However, that was only the 5th game this year that Barnes has caught when Kershaw was pitching. Familiarity means a lot. I am a fan of both Grandal and Barnes. Yasmani has another 20+ HR year and that is something, but in other ways he has regressed this year. His OB%, OPS and BB are down, while his strikeouts are up. He has a lot of value as a pitch-framer (Barnes is pretty good too) and he pulls balls back to strikes with regularity, which is why he has so many passed balls – he’s moving the glove as he catches the ball. That’s a two-edged sword.
Clayton and the rest of the staff like pitching to him, regardless of the passed balls, but it is an issue. I think Rob Manfred is going to try and push for electronic balls and strikes, if not in 2018, then in 2019 and if that happens, Yasmani’s value goes way down. Catchers who hit 20 HR’s don’t grow on trees. Grandal is 5th in HR among catchers, but he’s tied for 1st in passed balls. He is 3oth in OPS among catchers. Last year he was near the top. Hopefully, last night’s HR will get him started – he can get hot and do a lot of damage, but if not, Austin Barnes may catch 60% of playoff games.
Andre Ethier looks healthy enough to make a difference, so I see him on the roster, at the expense of Joc Pederson who is just plain lost! Granderson and Hernandez will platoon in LF and one thing I am worried about is Corey Seager’s elbow. It is bothering him. Watch his face when he throws. I have no idea what it is but it could be serious.
I think those 23 are locks, but there are many others vying for the last two spots:
El Gasolino (tip of the hat to DodgerRick) is a mess. I would carry 13 pitchers just due to uncertainty. It boils down to Cingrani, Stripling and Stewart. Stewart has a 4.50 ERA is September. Stripling has a 6.63 ERA in September. Cingrani has a 1.29 ERA in September. El Gasolina has a 20.77 ERA in September… Ouch! To me, Cingrani makes it and so does Stewart. Just my 2 cents… and it might change today or tomorrow.