Thursday, September 5, 2013

If the playoffs started today...

The Dodgers dropped the final game in Colorado 7-5, fighting back from a five-run deficit but coming up short.  The start by Edinson Volquez was pretty bad, and Carlos Marmol was even worse in his one inning of work. 

Still, the lead in the NL West is 12 1/2 thanks to winning the first two, so the Dodgers can clearly focus on the big picture, and that's shaping the roster for the postseason.

With that said, here's the 25-man roster I would pencil in if the Dodgers had to submit it today.

A.J. Ellis
Tim Federowicz

Adrian Gonazalez
Mark Ellis
Hanley Ramirez
Juan Uribe
Michael Young

Yasiel Puig
Carl Crawford
Andre Ethier
Matt Kemp

Nick Punto
Skip Schumaker

Starting Rotation
Clayton Kershaw
Zack Greinke
Ricky Nolasco
Hyun-Jin Ryu

Kenley Jansen
Brian Wilson
Ronald Belisario
Paco Rodriguez
J.P. Howell
Carlos Marmol
Chris Withrow
Chris Capuano

With these 25, that means Jerry Hairston, Edinson Volquez, and Brandon League are on the outside looking in.  In Hairston's case, the acquisition of Young definitely hurts him.  There's no way the Dodgers will trade for a guy like Young, praise his postseason experience, then leave him off the NLDS roster.  Punto and Schumaker are just better options than him as well.

Kemp will have to prove he's fully healthy, but he still has about four full weeks left to get both his ankle and his timing right.  Imagine if he does come back healthy?  That would be a HUGE bonus.

The glory of the starting rotation is that they're all capable of pitching deep into games, especially the big dogs of Kershaw and Greinke.  So, I think the Dodgers can afford to keep an extra bat over another arm, such as Withrow over Hairston.  Right now I'd list Capuano as the long reliever over Volquez.  Being a lefty helps Capuano as well, as they only have two other lefties, so perhaps he would be asked to get a big lefty out late in a game if Rodriquez or Howell are unavailable.

As of now, I have Marmol getting the edge over League and Volquez for the final spot.  Marmol got roughed up in Colorado on Wednesday, but you can't ignore his perfect month of August.  Putting up more blanks in September will be more great steps forward for him. 

I have a funny feeling, however, that League will still find his way onto the roster, but he doesn't deserve it.  A 5.33 ERA puts him in the company of guys like Peter Moylan and Matt Magill.  I don't care how much he's making this year, he shouldn't pitch in the spotlight of October.  No way.

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