Friday, September 29, 2006

Playoff Roster Decisions

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Provided Brad Radke woke up Friday morning with his arm still attached (and that might not be hyperbole) he pretty clearly earned a postseason start on Thursday night, which has to be a huge relief to the organization. Trusting in Carlos Silva or Matt Garza is optimistic. Trusting in Carlos Silva and Matt Garza crosses into delusional.

It also clarifies the playoff roster somewhat. I suspect the names will look like this:

Starting Pitchers (4): Santana, Bonser, Radke, Silva (or Garza)
Bullpen (8): Nathan, Rincon, Reyes, Crain, Neshek, Guerrier, Garza (or Silva)
Regulars (7): Mauer, Morneau, Castillo, Bartlett, Punto, Hunter, Cuddyer
Semi-Regulars (3): Nevin, White, Tyner
Bench (2): Redmond, Rodriguez, Ford

There aren’t too many surprises, with the possible exception of Luis Rodriguez, but he can serve as a backup at shortstop or third base, and he can be a left-handed bat off the bench. The only other options would be Terry Tiffee or Alex Casilla, neither of whom has seen much time since their call-up.

The other name that might surprise is Lew Ford. Three months ago I might have thought it would be Jason Kubel, but his knees have taken the whack out of his bat, and with just five at-bats this month, I think we can safely say he’ll be watching from the stands. Ford can platoon in center field with Jason Tyner if Torii Hunter gets hurt, be a late-inning defensive replacement for Rondell White, and get on-base (and maybe steal one) if necessary late in a game.

The final option would be left-hander Glen Perkins, though that would mean keeping twelve pitchers, which is very rare for the playoffs, and the Twins have already said they’ll only carry eleven. Still, the temptaion to carry a second southpaw in the bullpen might be too much to resist, if the Twins face a Yankee lineup that features Bobby Abreu, Jorge Posada, Hideki Matsui (.200 vs. LHP this year) and Jason Giambi (.214 vs. LHP).


fents said...

Being that I'm a gigantic nerd I've been going over the possible playoff roster options in my head as well. I have everyone you have + Kubel. Did I start taking crazy pills or do you only have 24 players on your list? I thought the playoffs had 25.

Also, given that Kubel has been the late inning lefty pinch hitter in the past two games I suspect that Gardy is trying to get him used to that sort of situation.

Batgirl said...

The Twins can't carry 12 pitchers, can they? I thought it was once you set the roster at the end of August, the number of pitchers and position players must remain constant, even if the names change due to DL, yes?

If Carlos Silva starts a game during the playoffs, I'm going to be very very frightened.

JimCrikket said...

TG mistakenly counted 8 guys in the bullpen but only listed 7. That means 11 pitchers (which is what I would assume they would take).

That leaves room for Kubes on the roster as well, which I assume they'll do.

Moss said...

"Trusting in Carlos Silva or Matt Garza is optimistic. Trusting in Carlos Silva and Matt Garza crosses into delusional."

Did you mean to say "Trusting in Boof Bonser or Matt Garza is optimistic. Trusting in Carlos Silva and Scott Baker crosses into delusional."?? Your sentences didn't seem to make sense.

Anonymous said...

Moss, I suspect TG meant what he said. The difference is between OR and AND--i.e., between looking for them to win one game between them and needing them BOTH to win.

On another subject, I am the only one who thinks it's disgraceful that fewer than 27,000 fans turned out for what could well have been Brad Radke's swan song? (My extended rant on this point can be found under the 9/29 Links for the Day.) Well, maybe the Twins can throw him a Brad Radke Appreciation Day next year--and if they do, that stadium better be FULL, y'hear?! ;-)

--Perry Beider

brianS said...

It did make sense, Moss. Trusting in a or b is mildly scary. Trusting in a and b is nutso.

brianS said...

oops. piling on. My bad. I didn't read Perry's post.

brianS said...

hey, where's Groundskeeper Willie? He's not hurt, so you can't replace him unless he hurries up and GETS hurt, right?

Anonymous said...

After Silva's last start, there is no way he is getting Game 4. Radke appears good to go, so he's in Game 3. Garza will start Game 4.

That means, according to your mock up, that the Twins will carry 2 long relief guys (Silva and Guerrier). This would be a bad decision IMO. We only need one of them, in case of a blowout.

What we might need, is another LOOGY to deal with all the lefty Mashers in the Yankee lineup. I know Guerrier deserves to be there, but I'd leave him home and take Perkins instead. And yes, I'd say the same thing if Perkins ERA was 5.50 instead of 0.00. He's a left-handed relief pitcher with a pulse, and that's worth more than a back-up mop-up guy in the playoffs.

Incidentally, I assume Silva would occupy that long relief role, even though Guerrier is probably the better pitcher, at this point in time.

-Andy Wink
Twins Killings

John said...

The lesson, as always, is:

I'm an idiot.

Moss said...

Thanks guys. That does make sense now.

Walter Hanson said...

I am not a total Carlos Sylvia fan. If you read my comments to the General Manager cheatsheet for 2007 I didn't pick up the option going with all four young pitchers.

Yet the case for Carlos Sylvia to be the game is obvious. For starters game four will be on Saturday which means Sylvia will have a fill four days rest.

The game will be in Oakland which will be a better stadium for Sylvia to pitch.

Gazra self destructed yesterday and it's obvious that Syvlia will be trusted by Gardner more especially since he bypassed Baker to throw this critical game when the Twins still had a chance to win the division.

As for Perkins why not? The six member bullpen has been Nathan, Rincon, Crain, Gurrier, Reyes, and Neshek. Eyier the seventh man has been along for the ride since we have been going with starters who might not get to the sixth inning regularly. In a short playoff series you need the second lefty and don't have to worry about keep arms fresh for the next series.

One final point. If the Twins are leading two games to one the game four starter has the chance to close the series so Santana can still start game one of the ACLS.

Given that scenario Sylvia is the obvious choice for game four.

Walter Hanson