I have a question about playoff eligibility. I believe that only players on the 25 man roster and those on the DL are eligible for the playoffs. Are these truly the only players available for postseason play. If someone gets injured in September, from what pool of players does the team get to choose a replacement.
Playoff Rosters: Playoff rosters must be set at 25, not including disabled players, on August 31. For each player on the 60-day DL, teams may add players to the eligible list during the playoffs at the same position, provided that they were in the organization on August 31. This is why some teams will bring up injured minor-league players and put them on the 60-day DL. Teams must choose 25 players from their playoff eligible list before each round of the playoffs.
Disabled List: The disabled list is restricted to players who have been given a medical diagnosis by an authorized doctor. There are two types of major-league disabled lists, the regular or 15-day disabled list and the emergency or 60-day disabled list. Players who are placed on the disabled list are inactive for a minimum of 15 or 60 days depending on the list. Players on the 15-day DL can be moved the 60-day DL at any time. Players on the 60-day DL cannot be moved to the 15-day DL. Players on the 60-day DL do not count against the 40-Man Roster. Often a player is moved to the 60-day DL to add a non-roster player to the roster. For every player on the 60-day DL, another name may be added to the playoff eligible list at same position as the player on the 60-day DL on August 31. A player may be placed on the DL retroactive to any date after the last date he appeared in game, up to 10 days before the date of placement on the DL. If a player spends an entire season on the 60-day DL, it does not count against rookie eligibility. All players must be removed from the disabled list by the end of the free agent filing period (15 days after the conclusion of the World Series).
Trading Deadline: There are two trading deadlines in baseball, July 31 and August 31. July 31 (at 4 PM EDT) is the last day teams can make a trade without having to pass a player through waivers until 5 PM on the day after the scheduled end of the regular season. This results in most of the biggest trades being made at that time. On August 31, teams must set their playoff rosters. By this time, most teams know whether or not they have a shot at the playoffs. Teams who are out of the race will put some of their more expensive players on the block sometimes and offer them in trades. Role players often get moved so they can be pinch-runners, pinch-hitters, or utility players for playoff teams.
The DL issue is the part that complicates things. I believe that someone on the 60-day-DL was replaced by a position player that was in the minors until September (or at least not on the original playoff roster) a few years ago. If I remember correctly it was Ricky Ledee for the Yankees replacing Chili Davis or Darryl Strawberry in 1998. It is hard to know how or of this affects anything this year since, to my knowledge, the postseason rosters are not published until the playoffs begin.
Anyway, here are the likely playoff teams and their players on the 60-day DL:
Angels: Steve Green, P
Twins: mike Duvall, P
Yankees: Christian Parker (P) and Randy Keisler (P)
D-Backs: Todd Stottlemyre (P)
Braves: Dave Martinez (OF), Cory Aldridge (OF), B.J. Surhoff (OF)
Dodgers: Tim Crabtree (P), Darren Dreifort (P)
Giants: Jason Christianson (P)
Cardinals: Rick Ankiel (P)