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Roster of Woes
2007-10-02 22:27
by Mike Carminati

Pat Gillick seems to believe it is still 1978. He set the Phils roster for their division series with the Rockies at ten pitchers and three catchers.

Remember when teams had the luxury of carrying three catchers? That's because games then rarely went over three hours and teams rarely employed more than two or three pitchers per game. Those days only exist in the mind of Peter Gammons today.

There's a reason why teams typically carry 12 pitchers, because they can easily go through five or six in a game. Playoff games today are epic, four-hour marathons with starters pulled early and relievers pulled quickly to get any perceived advantage possible.

On average, slightly over nine pitchers (9.11) are used per team over the short history of the Division Series. But the Phils are in the clear since they will have ten. Remember that that is the average and includes everything from lopsided sweeps to series that went the full five games.

Keep in mind that NL teams have used just over thirteen position players in the average Division Series (13.47). That means that the Phils will have less than one extra pitcher but almost two position players more than the average.

Given that the Phils pitchers especially certain relievers are quite often very ineffective. They are already limited since J.C. Romero, the setup man, is the only lefty in the bullpen. Now, they will have to cannibalize their fourth starter for long relief. I know that dropping Adam Eaton is the big story because of his contract, but I would rather have J.D. Durbin as an option in the pen. If this series goes deep, it might become an issue for the Phils.

Re. carrying three catchers, my fears that Carlos Ruiz would not be ready for the postseason given his HBP in the season finale. Therefore, the Phils are taking soon-to-be free agent Rod Barajas with them. My response is if Ruiz is not ready to go, you carry two catchers, the two healthy ones. Ruiz is not that impactful a player that you waste a roster spot for him. Mike Piazza he aint.

I assume that the fifteen position player includes Tad Iguchi who filled in admirably when Chase Utley was hurt but who is relegated to pinch-hitting due to Utley's presence. I would think they would get more use out of, say, Francisco Rosario, who owned a 1.50 ERA in September. I would activate Iguchi to DH in the World Series, but now I'm getting ahead of myself.

Now's the time for my fearless predictions that are invariably wrong:

NL Div Series: Phils over Rockies in four; Cubs over D-Backs in five
AL Div Series: Yanks over Indians in four; Red Sox over Angels in four
NLCS: Phils over Cubs in seven (what a series of woe that would be)
ALCS: Yankees over Red Sox in five
World Series: Phils over Yankees in six (What the Hell, I'm a homer)

2007-10-03 08:23:47
1.   ToyCannon
Not that anyone here would want a Dodger shirt but True Blue is running a World Series contest. If a Philly fan wins you can lord your superiority over the Dodger fans.

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