Pre-Postseason jibber-jabber

So, should the Dodgers try really hard to get home field advantage, or should they concentrate on resting their regulars before the playoffs start for the Dodgers and Mets on Friday, October 9?

How many pitchers should make the playoff roster and which ones?

How many outfielders should make the playoff roster and which ones?

How many infielders should make the playoff roster and which ones?

Who’s the emergency catcher behind Grandal and Ellis for the playoffs?

70 thoughts on “Pre-Postseason jibber-jabber

  1. Pingback: Game 162, 2015 | Elysian Fields

  2. This is from:

    Carl Erskine said: “The most emotional moment of my life occurred after we celebrated on the field following Johnny Podres’ 2-0 shutout in Game 7.” (against the Yankees in 1955)…. “We went into the visitor’s clubhouse at Yankee Stadium. For a minute or two before the champagne started to flow, there was a quiet reverence among the veteran players who were sitting together in front of their lockers — guys like Gil Hodges, Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Pee Wee Reese and Duke Snider. After being denied a championship for so many years, they finally had their moment. But they didn’t know what to say, like they couldn’t believe what had just happened. That one moment in time was absolutely burned in my memory. Here are these superstars emotionally touched by the victory and seeing that moment meant more to me than winning a ring.”

  3. In the NL Wild Card HFA race, MLB says:

    The Pirates began Saturday with a two-game lead over the Cubs in the
    National League Wild Card standings with two games remaining, but lost
    to the Reds to reduce their lead to one game. A Pirates’ win on Sunday
    would mean Wednesday’s NL Wild Card Game will be at PNC Park. But if the
    Pirates lose to the Reds, and the Cubs beat the Brewers, the Wild Card
    Game will be played at Wrigley Field because Chicago won the season
    series, 11-8.

  4. Now that the Dodgers have secured HFA, what’s left to fight for as of Saturday night? The AL West and Wild Cards! From ESPN:

    The Los Angeles Angels’ 11-10 comeback win at Texas left Houston a game behind the first-place Rangers. An Astros win on Sunday and a Rangers loss would send Houston into a one-game tiebreaker at Texas on Monday for the division crown. The loser would play the New York Yankees in the wild-card game.

    If the Astros lose on Sunday and Los Angeles wins, the Angels would go to
    Houston on Monday for a tiebreaker to determine the second wild card. A
    Houston loss and a Texas victory would give the Astros the No. 2 wild
    card and a trip to Yankee Stadium.

    And if Houston and Texas both win, the Astros could wind up the top wild card and host the Yankees if New York loses its regular-season finale at Baltimore. Houston holds the
    tiebreaker over the Yankees because it won the season series 4-3.

  5. How many pitchers should make the playoff roster and which ones?

    How many outfielders should make the playoff roster and which ones?

    How many infielders should make the playoff roster and which ones?

    Who’s the emergency catcher behind Grandal and Ellis for the playoffs?

    • For me, the expendables are Utley and/or Puig, depending on if Puig plays today or tomorrow, and how he does. Didn’t know SVS was injured, though. That would make the decision easier. And I do like Ruggs a lot.

  6. Teams that didn’t have home-field advantage have won 10 of the past 16 division series.

    • Interesting. Sometimes I feel as if the ability to score in the top of the first, putting added pressure on the opposing pitcher, is the key to post-season success. I won’t be crushed if we start in N.Y..

      • Historically, I think stats show the team scoring first wins a majority of the time in all games, not just post-season.

        Don’t have time to check, but seems both Anderson and Wood have better numbers at DS than on the road. CK and Greinke are a lot for any team to handle anywhere.

        • Wood is a whole bunch better at DS. Anderson has actually been a bit better on the road. So whether we get HFA or not may be critical on which one makes the roster (under a three starter scenario).

    • Far less meaningful in baseball than in most other sports, especially basketball I think.

  7. I have been thinking. If I could, would I sign free agent Jason Heyward and trade Puig? I think I would if Puig could get Jose Fernandez from Miami. Miami has to do something and Puig in CF and Stanton in RF would be a start. There might have to be other players included in the trade but lets leave those details to KFAZ (my acronym for Dodger Executives).

  8. Good discussion, well played. I’m busy this AM, hope to continue it this afternoon. Our “offensive” success this year is spread all over the roster, not just the 8 starters, so I favor keeping as many hitters as we can get on the playoff roster, with Clayton, Zack, Anderson, maybe Wood, and 7 or 8 relief pitchers. Should be plenty under the circumstances and with intelligent pitcher usage which is probably asking too much…
    EDIT: I just looked over the roster and counted noses. I’m glad I don’t have to make those calls, because some people who paid for a ride there are going to be left off the roster, no way around it. I know I’ll criticize the choices but I’m still glad I don’t have to be the hangman…

    • An important call would be whether to go with 3 or 4 starters, and then whether Anderson or Wood. If they include Frias in the pen, they could always use him as a fourth as the situation dictates. Would guess that Donnie and the FO are burning the midnight oil.

    • I like Frias as the forth starter and Wood in the bullpen ready to relieve Anderson in the 5th inning of game 3.

        • I haven’t decided yet on who I would like on the playoff roster so you are probably right. However, I am not sure right now that I would put Utley on the team and that might make room for Frias, Wood, and Anderson.

          • Howie’s splits aren’t bad at all, so Utley would seem to be expendable, particularly with Quique to sub in the infield as needed.

          • Do you think they might actually leave Utley off? He arrived with such “veteran presence” fanfare. I’m not a fan, but it seems like one of those bone-headed experience-over-fresh-talent decisions made during playoff season.

          • If Howie is back on his feet the platoon trade off at 2nd doesn’t actually exist, nor does it at 3rd, where Justin hits righties better than Chase. To be fair, Rollins could also be a candidate for being left off, if the Dodgers were willing to trust the rookie at short (with Quique as back up), but I think he is the one likely to get the vet card.

  9. The easy way out on Puig making the playoff team is for him to miss the Mets series and make the next series due to the Mets having mostly right side pitching.

    It seems the Dodgers do better against right handed pitching. Maybe the left side hitting combination of Agon, Ethier, Crawford, Pederson, and now Seager do better against right handers than Turner, SVS, Kendrick, Hernandez, and Ruggiano do against left handers, It seems like the Dodgers missed Puig’s bat against left handers.

  10. I would tend to go with less pitchers for a short series, particularly with Clayton and Zach leading things off. Anderson with his good outing has complicated matters (in a good way I suppose). And would tend to want to maintain enough position players to continue with the platooning that has helped the offensive surge. With all of the Mets right handers Schebler can’t be discounted. Need to sit down and crunch the numbers.

    • I liked that more of the 25 man active roster got to have a decent share of innings played. It kept more players sharp and made success a team success.

      What I didn’t appreciate was pinch hitting in the 5th or 6th inning. It seemed like everytime a right handed batter pinch hit for a left handed batter, that right handed batter wound up getting two more at bats later in the game with runners on and they would be against right handed pitchers.

      The Dodger platoon players thrive against opposite handed pitchers and retreat against same sided pitchers.

      • It’s clearly an art to know when to switch (run scoring situation, who is left in the opponent’s pen, etc), that’s why it might be important to have that extra lefty of the bench (Schebler).

  11. How can I not comment in this thread when the thread title had the words jibber-jabber in it – not to mention the whole pre-post combo? I love it Link!

    I am still trying to wrap my head around the news about Puig. I don’t really believe this, but part of me was wondering if Mattingly was a bit sarcastic when he described Puig’s healing as “miraculous”. Is he excited to have Puig back or – for clubhouse dynamic reasons – concerned at all about his return? A healthy and producing Puig is a huge bonus, but a Puig who is not performing very well – does that upset the vibe of the team at all? Anyway, if he is good to go then which outfielder gets dropped? SVS? Ruggs?

    • So you have succumbed to the possibility of both SVA and Ruggs being on the roster? Puig will need to show something this weekend.

      • I don’t know Bob. I just don’t know what they will do. But I do figure that they won’t have all the outfielders: Joc, Ethier, CC, Hernandez, SVS, Ruggs, Schebler (who i like) AND Puig. Because if they did that, then Heisey would feel super duper sad.

        • Seasons passed choosing the 25th guy was always a question of an extra arm in the pull pen or a pinch runner, or having someone for Manny to play with in the dugout.

          • Reminds me of Herb Washington, Charlie Finley’s designated pinch runner with the A’s in 1974 and 1975. He appeared in 105 games in his big league career and never had a single plate appearance. He stole 31 bases, but was thrown out 17 times. No batting average, no OBP, no slugging percentage, no OPS, no OPS +. Scored a total of 33 runs. Never played at all in the field. Never played in the minors. I wonder if he ever played baseball anywhere.

      • I agree with Puig having to show it in game conditions — Donnie said as much.

        Puig’s potential is unquestionable. But his output this year is. I remember he was benched in last year’s LDS and I don’t recall him being a major factor two years ago since all the bats were shut down when Hanley went out.
        Then there’s the “x” factor — his mental lapses on the field and chemistry in the clubhouse — plus the fact he’ll be replacing someone who HAS helped down the stretch.
        Donnie always seems to have his players’ backs, but I remember he was asked if Puig visited them when everyone was in AZ recently and DM said Puig didn’t need an invitation . . . I took that as Puig not showing up (and supporting his team) and being conspicuous in his absence.

        • Not sure why you to go back two years (let it go), last year Puig had the fourth best OPS among position players in he series against the Cards, better than Agon. Puig not showing up was subsequently explained by the particular machine he was using there to rehabilitate, which Donnie wasn’t aware of. It’s a good problem to have if he is not good enough yet to crack the roster. As you say, Ruggs and SVS certainly deserve slots and have contributed.

          • I go back two years because that’s the sample we have.

            Not sure why you have to make “let it go” comments . . .

          • I think both agree, and even Donnie, that Puig really has to show something this weekend to be considered for the roster in either the first series or the second (knock on wood), given that he would be replacing players that have produced and contributed under the platoon approach. I say let it go, because you take a small sample size to begin with and then cherry pick your own memory to suggest that Puig doesn’t perform in the playoffs. By that measure of past performance, Kershaw doesn’t belong on the playoff roster. But even if you look at the small sample, Puig really only underperformed in the 2013 NLCS, though he contributed in 3 out of the 6 games. This X factor on the field is a well worn critique of Puig that somehow his over eagerness resulting in an occasional bonehead play negates his contribution. This can be glaring within a limited number of games in the playoffs, but people better than I have shown it not to have been the case. In any event, he has matured in this regard. As regards clubhouse chemistry, there is basically a whole book on the that (Molly Knight’s) but if Donnie and the FO thought it was still an issue, Puig wouldn’t be around at all.

          • Boy, a healthy Puig really complicates things. I am so on the fence, because I truly could argue it either way. And either choice, if we don’t advance, will be furiously second-guessed.

        • He was working out on a specific machine which was only at Camelback. There wasn’t one at the D-Backs’ ballpark. Or so we were told by Orel or Nomar or Charlie on TV anyway.