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.
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)
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.
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.