Playoff Rosters, Part 2: Wild Card Speculation

The man must be on the roster... also, there are no pictures of this man smiling. - Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Constructing a wild card roster.

The Rays will play a single game tomorrow in Cleveland for the privilege of facing the Red Sox in the American League Division Series. If they win, they will have a chance to reset their roster for the ALDS. That gives this roster the potential to be somewhat unique, as it theoretically only needs to contain one starting pitcher. In part one, I looked at who was eligible for the postseason. Now here's my best guess at what the Rays will do.

Locks:

  1. SP – Alex Cobb
  2. C #1 –Jose Molina
  3. C #2 –Jose Lobaton
  4. 1B – James Loney
  5. 2B – Ben Zobrist
  6. SS – Yunel Escobar
  7. 3B – Evan Longoria
  8. DH – Delmon Young – He's started all the important games, including those against right-handed pitchers. He'll use Brandon Guyer's DL exception.
  9. CF – Desmond Jennings – if not physically able, DL him and insert Kevin Kiermaier.
  10. OF – Wil Myers
  11. OF – Matt Joyce
  12. OF – David DeJesus
  13. OF/IF – Sean Rodriguez
  14. OF/IF – Kelly Johnson
  15. OF – Sam Fuld – As a late-inning defensive replacement and pinch runner.
  16. RHP – Fernando Rodney
  17. RHP – Joel Peralta
  18. LHP – Jake McGee
  19. LHP – Alex Torres
  20. RHP – Jamey Wright

The last five:

  1. RHP – Brandon Gomes – A strikeout pitcher who Joe Maddon seems to trust (so do I). Maddon had him warming in the seventh inning yesterday alongside the lefty Jake McGee.
  2. LHP – Wesley Wright – good to have another lefty in there for matchup purposes.
  3. RHP – Jake Odorizzi – He's been very good out of the bullpen, and he'll give length (uses first pitcher DL exception).
  4. RHP – Chris Archer – He's rested, so he could pitch out of the 'pen in an emergency. The other option here would be Roberto Hernandez.
  5. DH – Luke Scott – He's been a forgotten man since Young arrived, but I think the strange situation gets him in for this game. He doesn't make the ALDS roster

Left off:

  1. Cesar Ramos – Yes he's pitched important innings this season, he's a lefty, and he can go multiple innings, but in a win-or-go-home game where starters are available there are better options.
  2. Josh Lueke – Despite seemingly good stuff, he's the opposition's victory flag.
  3. Freddy Guzman – I'd love to have the stolen base master available, but the Rays only have one position-player DL exemption and that has to go to Delmon Young. Now if Luke Scott were to pull his back . . .
  4. Chris Gimenez – Same goes for the Rays' third catcher as went for Guzman.
  5. Starting pitchers who won't be available because of recent use (David Price, Matt Moore).
  6. Starting pitchers who don't make the bullpen because of better options (Jeremy Hellickson, Roberto Hernandez).
Edit: I didn't have this quite right. It doesn't matter whether the DL'd players are pitchers or position players. The actual roster is now available.

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