We are all speculating who the Don Mattingly, Ned Colletti and crew will have on their roster for the post season. Here we will take a look at the easy choices, as well as a breakdown of a couple of the questionable, tough choices. We do know that the Dodgers will carry 11 pitchers and 14 position players. Here we go with the gimmies:
Position Players (Starters)
A.J. Ellis (C) - Tim Federwicz (C)
Adrian Gonzalez (1B)
Mark Ellis (2B)
Hanley Ramirez (SS)
Juan Uribe (3B)
Matt Kemp (OF)
Yasiel Puig (OF)
Carl Crawford (OF)
Position Players (Bench)
Michael Young (Util) – Colletti didn’t bring Young to be at home during the postseason. Say what you want about his batting average in his later years, you want a potential clutch player who can play all infield positions in a pinch. Speaking of pinch, how about pinch hit?
Skip Schumkaer (Util) – Baseball smarts, he can play about everywhere, great club house guy, and he has earned it.
Nick Punto (Util) – Plays everywhere in the infield, the Little Pony is smart, relatively quick and useful for a sacrifice.
Clayton Kershaw (SP)
Zach Greinke (SP)
Hyun-Jin Ryu (SP) – Ryu who at one point made some waves for rookie of the year, has bounced back from his… back injury and is primed to be a #3 starter. Not to mention the St. Louis Cardinals are top heavy with lefty hitters.
It is worth to mention that there is no reason to have a 4th starter, I’ll talk about long relief coming up.
Kenley Jansen (RHP)
Paco Rodriguez (LHP)
Ronald Belisario (RPH)
J.P. Howell (LPH)
Chris Withrow (RPH) – Do not let being a rookie scare you. Withrow blazes the ball, has been holding up well and can throw a couple innings if needed.
Brian Wilson (RPH) – Everything has been pointing to Wilson getting put in tough situations to simulate the playoff. The experiment has paid off and he should hold up nicely in postseason.
The In-betweeners (Position Players)
Dee Gordon (SS, PR) – Whaaaat? Dee Gordon? Yes. You need speed. Look at your lineup. Between pitchers, A.J. Ellis, Juan Uribe and Adrian Gonzalez, a speedy base runner is extremely helpful. It is also a spot where Dee Gordon hasn’t had any mental blunders (fingers crossed).
Jerry Hairston (Util) – A gamble, but here is the low down: He can play infield and the outfield. His atrocious batting average is a result of pinch hitting.
The In-betweeners (Pitchers)
Carlos Marmol (RHP) – This is a scary option, but even more scary is Brandon League. The thing is, Marmol just strikes out a lot more batters, plain and simple.
Edinson Volquez (RHP) – He is used simply as a blow-out pitcher or heavy into extra innings. You need a long relief guy, especially if it is early in the series and don’t want to kill your bullpen.
Brandon League (RHP) - Brandon League does not have overpowering stuff, not a strikeout pitcher when he closed out games. If you have an option for the ball to go into the catcher glove vs. another fielders glove, I’ll take the catcher. It is also worthy to note Mattingly has not put League in any tough situations whatsoever for who knows how long. League, despite his 2 year contract remaining with the Dodgers, Mattingly isn’t setting him up for success.
Ricky Nolasco (RHP) - No Nolasco? As we saw by his last game, Ricky has not righted his ship. The playoffs are not the time to do so. The rental may be hurt by that, but it is business. His wonderful start with the Dodgers will not be forgotten, but this is a risk, even if he is pitching in a blowout. He is the likely swap for Volquez, obviously.
Andrew Ethier (OF) – If he is healthy, he replaces Jerry Hairson. That is all that needs to be said there. His absence makes it a bit easier to not platoon when they face lefties. Cardinals have no starting lefties however, Braves have Paul Maholm, Pittsburgh have Francisco Liriano and Jeff Locke. He might be sitting regardless.
Capuano/Fife (SP) – Injured, erratic
Scott Van Slyke (OF) – I mustache you a question about Scott; do you expect him to be effective? Big power off the bench, but hasn’t seen a lot of at bats or playing time for that matter. Makes him tough. Michael Young will serve as the big pop off of the bench. Hairston beats him in the ability to play the infield. You need diversity.