Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

The Dodgers’ postseason roster – another look

My last look at the Dodgers’ likely postseason 25-man roster came August 31. Most of it remains the same, but there are some tweaks.

Starters (4)
Clayton Kershaw
Zack Greinke
Hyun-Jin Ryu
Ricky Nolasco

Relievers (7)
Kenley Jansen
Paco Rodriguez
Brian Wilson
Ronald Belisario
J.P. Howell
Chris Withrow
Brandon League or Carlos Marmol

I’ve heard calls for Chris Capuano, but the guy has faced six batters all month – none since September 6 – and isn’t exactly reliable even when he’s pitched. You already have two lefties.  And no, you don’t plan for mop-up work in the playoffs, not with off days built in. (Worst-case scenario – you use the No. 4 starter in long relief and bring back a frontline starter on short rest.) League and Marmol aren’t that reliable, either, but at least game action isn’t going to be foreign to them. If Capuano were actually pitching, then it would easier to see the arguments for him.

The other question is whether Belisario’s recent slump could jeopardize his roster spot, but I’m guessing not. Would you really push him off in favor of having both League and Marmol, or adding Edinson Volquez?

Basically, the Dodgers will be hoping their starters can get the job done.

Starting lineup (8)
A.J. Ellis
Adrian Gonzalez
Mark Ellis
Hanley Ramirez
Juan Uribe
Carl Crawford
Matt Kemp
Yasiel Puig

Andre Ethier will obviously get his share of starts if healthy. In fact, if all four primary outfielders are ready to go, Crawford might be the No. 4.

Bench (6)
Andre Ethier
Tim Federowicz
Michael Young
Nick Punto
Skip Schumaker
Dee Gordon or Scott Van Slyke

Jerry Hairston Jr. has a .563 OPS this season. Since the All-Star break, it’s dropped below .430. Though Hairston started today (and went 0 for 4), Michael Young has rendered him almost completely irrelevant, especially when you have plenty of outfield options. It’s unusual for a player who has spent the entire season on the active roster not to make the postseason, but there’s no case for him – whereas Gordon or Van Slyke provide specific (if singular) skills, speed or power.

Look, I won’t put it past the Dodgers to put Hairston on the squad, and given the Dodgers’ fragile health state, Hairston could easily end up on the roster anyway, even if that wasn’t the original intention. But with a full compliment of healthy players, I just can’t see it. They’ve got proven veterans to spare, and Gordon or Van Slyke have a better chance to make a difference at a key moment.



The Woo-Hoo Thread!


There has never been a greater Dodger lineup than this one


  1. WinnipegDave

    Dee vs SVS is an interesting pick one proposition. Completely different players and I think I would roll with the big guy over the speedster.

    • John_from_Aus

      I’d go the other way.
      Imagine this scenario, someone singles at the bottom of the 9th, do you bring in a) Dee to almost certainly get into scoring position or b) Van Slyke to possibly win it with one big hit.
      I know part a) needs another hit, but a single here is more likely than a HR

      • Bob_Hendley

        Interesting take.

      • WinnipegDave

        In that scenario, which – after recalling the series against Cincinnati – could happen frequently or at least regularly, I would agree with you and choose Dee Gordon. I wonder if the need for another strong bat (that is, capable of an extra base hit) off the bench is even more likely to arise within the course of a game – thus giving SVS the overall edge.

      • Adam Luther

        I’d go with the speedster/bunter.

  2. Skip Stomacher? Is this an inside joke? ;)

  3. Bob_Hendley

    I think ours is fine, so I am really not questioning that he should be on the roster, but are fourths really needed in the playoffs as starters? (sorry, I have Koufax, Drysdal, Osteen on my mind)

  4. foul tip

    NBC’s Chuck Todd, rabid Dodger fan, just closed his morning MSNBC show with “how ’bout them Dodgers, first to clinch.”

    Would have been surprising if he didn’t say something.

  5. foul tip

    To me Marmol is preferable. When he throws strikes he shows the kind of dominance League can only dream of. Like many here, I doubted him. But he was low to no risk, and several don’t seem to have noticed how much he has improved after a rocky start..

    Look at his numbers after Honey worked on/with him, last 10 games: 9 IP, 4 hits (3 in the only bad one of the 10) 2 ER, 8 BB–he’s always walked folks–and 14 Ks. 3.00 ERA overall in LA. Dunno about inherited runners. He walked in a run last time out, and WHIP is not great at 1.56. (Emphasis on the W.)

    Career, In 560 major league innings, dude has struck out 724 and given up only 369 hits–but BBd 380, Career punchout rate right at 13 per 9, That may rank with the best K to IP ratios ever..? He doesn’t appear to have lost anything

    Unless he was just annihilating batters and basically throwing only strikes, don’t think I’d want to see him in the 8th or 9th. He’s not the greatest thing since homemade peach ice cream (sorry, Bob T). But he could make a key contribution middle innings–if he mostly can find home plate.

  6. KT

    Couple of gif’s from last night’s party to keep the mood going:

  7. WBBsAs

    With the division clinched, there’s a chance to get Capuano some work and see if he can handle it, so I wouldn’t rule him out.

  8. Adam Luther

    Marmol and Gordon.

    • ASW1

      I’d have to agree – mainly because I don’t want there to be any, and I mean ANY, chance that SVS would set foot in the outfield for one second of game action in the playoffs.

  9. Adam Luther

    On Talk Like a Pirate Day the Dodgers seize the opponents’ swimming pool.

  10. JonnyTAFKAJ

    Hey DT-ers….
    What an amazing season, thus far. This type of thing sure doesn’t happen very often.
    The ‘run’ this 2013 team went on is surely something for the ages. And, it sure made a believer out of me. It makes me wish I could take back so many of my DT postings that were so critical in nature, early on. “Erase, Erase, Erase…..” – to quote comedian, Craig Shoemaker :-)
    One thing I noticed as I watched the post-game coverage yesterday.
    – When asked general questions about the accomplishments of “The Team”, I found it very impressive just how many players went out of their way to mention Hanley Ramirez by name with respect to how good he is. To me, it speaks volumes about what a talent this guy truly is. When you can impress your peers that much, I think that it says a lot about you. Congrats Dodgers!


    Are the 25 players that they pick now, the ones eligible for the WS? If so I would not take League nor Marmol… take Van Slyke AND Gordon… they’ll need the deeper bench for the DH. Also if you are going to rely on the starting pitching to go deep then we don’t need a deep bullpen… go blue!

  12. Bob_in_Vegas

    Just got a ticket to both series, 1st home game each (now havta make sure my schedule is clear, including travel time!).

    The code to get the Twitter presale is TWITTERPS13

    • ASW1

      Way to go, Bob – good to hear there will be DT representation and Karmic power at those games!

    • KT

      where you sitting…I’m in the reserve section for Game 1 NLDS…we should hook up

      • Bob_in_Vegas

        Definitely! I’m reserve behind home . . . where I sat for Padilla’s gem in the ;09 NLCS.

        I was surprised how easy it was to get the tickets . . . nothing like the chaos (and ultimate disappointment) trying to get to Comic Con this year.

        • KT

          I’m down the left field line
          Since we are both traveling to get there…maybe we can hook up either in or outside…think about some spots maybe to get a bite to eat before going in or something

          • Bob_in_Vegas

            Probably inside — depending on which day/time this game is, I may be driving straight from LV to the stadium. And since that downtown traffic is soooo much fun (knowingly violating Rule 7 but betting everyone feels the same), getting to the game is Job 1.

  13. dalegribel

    Marmol over League, Van Slyke over Gordon. I do wish there were better alternatives to Belisario, but League isn’t it.
    Any chance the Dodgers take both Gordon and Van Slyke while running with a six man bullpen? Kershaw, Greinke, and Ryu all have the knack for pitching deep into games.

  14. foul tip

    Bob Nightengale of USA Today notes the Dodgers are only the third team in the last 100 years to in last place after July 1 but finish first.

  15. KT

    Anyone else going to Game 1 NLDS

    • RBI

      I am!

      • KT

        what part of the park are you going to sit? For the second time in 35 years (both this year) I’ll be in the reserve section

        • RBI

          Section 164LG, Row S… Pretty far out in right field. I have reserve section seats for game 3!

  16. KT

    David Cameron ‏@DCameronFG37m
    Minimum 300 PAs in a season, no shortstop has ever hit better than 2013 Hanley Ramirez.,d

  17. WBBsAs

    I tentatively plan to go to the the Dodgers’ Game 1 & 2 wins at the Coliseum, which will be the last two games of the season in Oakland.

  18. thescrounger

    Jon ought to have enough pull as a Dodger Blog Owner, to get a section designated for Dodger Thought attendees, make it a group event.

  19. foul tip

    Just going by Puig’s floor gymnastics in the celebration, his hip seems OK.

  20. KT

    John McCain @SenJohnMcCain

    No-class act by a bunch of overpaid, immature, arrogant, spoiled brats! “The #Dodgers are idiots”…

  21. KT

    Anthony Jackson ‏@dodgerscribe1m
    Can see the headlines now: beanbrawl war in Sydney results from six-month-old feud about a swimming pool

  22. KT

    John McCain ‏@SenJohnMcCain36m
    No-class act by a bunch of overpaid, immature, arrogant, spoiled brats! “The #Dodgers are idiots”

    • RBI

      Man, what do they serve during D-backs games? Sour grapes?

    • Onlyatriple

      Well, please forgive the rule 5 violation but given what is happening in Congress this week, that is rich, very rich.

  23. PismoBruce

    Agree with Hairston being left off. When the trade for Young happened and people were talking about him taking Uribe’s job it was apparent to me it was Hairston he would replace. And I doubt this would happen, but I would take Gordon and SVS over Skip. Each has a specific skillset that could prove valuable in a playoff game, while Skip is strictly utility.

    • ASW1

      Hairston being left off is fine with me as well, but while Skip’s defense is far from spectacular, he is much less likely to turn a routine grounder into an error (Dee) or turn a single to left into a double or triple (SVS). Have to keep Skip on the roster for his versatility to play multiple positions in the field and not have to cringe when the ball is hit to him.

      • PismoBruce

        Don’t expect either to see pt in the field but if I had a runner at 3rd I needed to score or a hitter who could drive the ball they could do that. Skip may be solidly mediocre, but in a playoff game I don’t want to see him. You need guys like that in the long haul, not the short term, IMHO.

      • That’s a valid point about the versatility, especially since Skip can play OF as well as IF. But with Crawford as 4th OF if Ethier is healthy, how important is it to have 5th OF as anything other than a pinch-hitter? In terms of IF defense coming off the bench, Punto should have that covered pretty well, I would think.

    • NoahUCLA

      I would also take SVS and Gordon over Hairston, but I just don’t see the Dodgers pulling that trigger (maybe Mattingly is scared his office will look like Tommy’s did in 1981). With Young and the 4th outfielder ahead of SVS on the pinch hitting totem pole, I would take Gordon over SVS. Also, Marmol or league would be the one to be called on if a starter only goes 3 or 4 innings, and I would definitely trust Marmol more than League at this point.

  24. thescrounger

    Oddly enough, most of us agree about the roster decisions: no Hairston and either Gordon or SVS. (I’d take Gordon), but there is no way on God’s Green Earth that Hairston gets left off the roster so we can carry a rookie. Bet the house….

  25. foul tip

    Jon now on MSNBC about upcoming awards. In a suit, even.

    • ASW1

      Bummer – he was never given a chance to slip in a “Go Dodgers!” shout out.

  26. btimmer

    An interesting article from SABR about players who were mostly pinch runners during their career:

    Allan Lewis was mostly a pinch runner for the 1972 A’s. His teammates voted him a 1/10th share of World Series money.

  27. Bob_in_Vegas

    Isn’t it great that such roster debates are relevant and not just theoretical?

  28. Bob_in_Vegas

    I remember when I said 13 is my favorite number but it’s not a good year
    for the Dodgers. . . .
    I hope I’m proven even more wrong than I already
    have been!

  29. bmr209

    Jon, don’t you think there is a case to be made for having Dee Gordon and Scott Van Slyke on the roster over Skip Schumaker and Jerry Hairston Jr?

    • I think Schumaker is a lock because he plays five positions and hits better than Hairston. I think you need at least one guy with his versatility – at least in the NL playoffs. I don’t think you take that guy off the team just so you can have a pinch-runner.

  30. NoahUCLA

    Jon does suggest the interesting question of how the 7th and 8th innings will line up with Belisario and Paco struggling. I think at this point Wilson is close to being certain as the 8th inning man (especially to righties) and then I would think Paco is still the 7th inning man for lefties. Who does that leave for righties in the 7th? Has Paco lost that job, and has Belisario lost it as well? Withrow? I know everyone on here likes Withrow, but I don’t know if I trust him in the playoffs and I think he gives up a lot of home runs compared to Belisario.

    • I think anything before the eighth (or after the ninth) would essentially be done by matchups. You’re essentially going to have five rested relievers to handle those spots.

      I do agree that Wilson is the most likely eighth-inning guy right now.

      I like to think it’s not unlikely that the Dodgers will only use a total of four pitchers in their first two games. Knock on wood.

      • NoahUCLA

        I agree and hope you’re right re: 4 pitchers. Wilson may turn out to be a hugely important acquisition when all is said and done. Who would’ve thought that at the beginning of the season?

        • Bob_in_Vegas

          True . . . one of the many “who’dve thunk” from this year, including Uribe becoming a fan favorite!

  31. KT

    Dodgers PR ‏@DodgersPR1h
    .@ClaytonKersh22 featured in @SportsCenter’s new spot, #DaDaDa:

  32. KT

    Dodgers lineup:
    Gordon SS
    Hairston 3B
    Schumaker 2B
    Van Slyke LF
    Federowicz C
    Buss CF
    Castellanos RF
    Butera 1B
    Volquez P

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