As Cubs Inch Closer to the Wild Card, Playoff Roster Decisions Loom

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As the Chicago Cubs march into St. Louis to play the dreaded Cardinals, we cannot help but believe they are on their way to the playoffs. With a healthy lead over the Washington Nationals and San Fransisco Giants for the second Wild Card, how can we not?

Believing the Cubs will make the playoffs, the next logical step would be to predict the playoff roster. Even though you can change the roster every round to set up the best possible match ups, the decisions that need to be made are tough. Every time I make a list I have to ask myself “how can I leave this guy off”.

I am glad I do not have to make the actual decisions, but I do not mind taking a guess at how the postseason roster will look.

Pitchers

Jake Arrieta

Jon Lester

Jason Hammel

Kyle Hendricks

Hector Rondon

Pedro Strop

Tommy Hunter

Fernando Rodney

Travis Wood

Justin Grimm

Clayton Richard

I left off Dan Haren because he has been pretty bad, and you do not need a fifth starter. Wood and Richard are your long men so he is not needed there either. Jason Motte and Neil Ramirez are injured, and Carl Edwards Jr (formerly C.J. Edwards) is just up to get Major League experience and to give the bullpen a breather.

Of course this could change if Haren turns things around this month and Edwards dominates the world. Then figuring out the pitching staff becomes all that much harder.

Position Players

Miguel Montero

David Ross

Anthony Rizzo

Starlin Castro

Addison Russell

Kris Bryant

Kyle Schwarber

Dexter Fowler

Chris Coghlan

Chris Denorfia

Javier Baez

Jonathan Herrera

Austin Jackson

Tommy La Stella

Jorge Soler was left off because he is on the disabled list. He might be back in time for the playoffs, but with an oblique injury you can never be too sure. Though if he is ready to go by October, I have to imagine that either La Stella or Herrera would be the first ones cut. I would lean towards La Stella (especially with Baez and Castro here) because Herrera is one of Joe Maddon‘s favorites. Add in that he seems to be the energetic chemistry guys who helps keep this team in the “having fun” zone and I think he is a keeper.

That’s not counting Quintin Berry or Emilio Bonifacio who were picked up as emergency players and pinch runners who I cannot see making the cut.

In my opinion, this is the roster that makes the most sense. I am probably leaving off someone you think deserves to make the squad and adding someone you think is just a waste of space. But, this is my prediction. Time will tell how off I was.

 

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6 Replies to “As Cubs Inch Closer to the Wild Card, Playoff Roster Decisions Loom”

  1. I’d rather have Berry over Castro honestly. At least with Berry you can count on him for speed in a pinch running situation. Why would Castro even see the field? There’s better hitters and fielders on the bench already.

    • Well, Berry can’t hit so he’s a straight pinch-runner, which of course needs a spot on the postseason roster given what the Kansas City Royals did last year to achieve success. Castro is a decent enough defender with a historically decent bat (this year may be what he is, or it may be an aberration and his matchup at-bats have been pretty good lately) so I think you keep him on the roster for versatility. Between all the different infielders I think the Cubs match up well with any team.

    • Yeah, we covered that in the more recent blog. I think Marlins Park having a ginormous outfield helped him immensely, with Wrigley, not so much. Probably better to fake an injury and swap in someone else.

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