Ryu is reportedly ready to go
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Finally, the NLDS roster was announced in anticipation for this afternoon’s showdown between Clayton Kershaw and Adam Wainwright. There were some surprises, there were some really obvious choices. Lets delve right into it:
As far as the Pitching is concerned, the starters were already set in stone,
That’s the 4 man rotation that will either take the Dodgers to a world series win, or sputter out of the playoffs. Hyun-Jin Ryu is reportedly ready to go and will start game 3 in Saint Louis, which is obviously one of the biggest pluses the Dodgers will get this series. Kershaw-Greinke-Ryu-Haren was pretty easy to see despite my calls for Haren to start game 2 in Los Angeles, that matchup is neutralized by the fact that Shelby Miller isn’t al that great either.
You’ll note that Ryu has an insurance policy if he can’t go deep into game 3, and that policy is… Dan Haren. Yep, Haren, if not starting game 4 will play in game 3 assuming Ryu is not fully ready to go deep into his start, which would explain the reserve pitching in this series:
Kenley-Howell-Baez were all easy choices. So was Brian Wilson. I do not know why there was ay conversation he was not going to be on the roster. Is he great? Nope, are there alternatives? Not really, so he gets on the roster. League and Wright made it because they have been professionals a fairly long time, and they did not explode, something Chris Perez failed to do. The interesting choices were Carlos Frias making it, but it makes more sense the more you think about Ryu’s health concerns, the last thing you want is Jamey Wright as the only long man.
Scott Elbert made it over Paco Rodriguez, which makes sense considering Paco’s missing 2 MPH on his fastball since coming back from his back strain earlier last month, let him rehab it, even if a diminished Paco probably is still the best, or 2nd best leftie in the bullpen. It’s a redemption story for Elbert after going through approximately 77 elbow surgeries since 2012, and he’s probably the 2nd best and healthiest left handed reliever in the bullpen. Yikes.
A.J. starts with Butera as the backup, and this is mainly due to a combination of defense and familiarity with the pitching staff. People would be upset with A.J starting, but there’s nobody else, and his success with Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and Hyun-Jin Ryu justifies a start given the postseason options
"The biggest difference is at this time of year a lot of guys are counting down the days,” Barney said of his former team. “It’s strange not to be counting down the days. I didn’t even know the season was over in 10 days. There’s still baseball ahead.”"
But his experience at short (or lack thereof) means Turner/Rojas gets the edge over Barwin/Turner
It feels like this is the strongest the OF has been in a long, long time. The offensive production is a great, great, asset to this team, Carl Crawford, Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp are such a solid group of OF’s, and Andre Ethier’s no slouch coming off of the bench.
So there’s the roster for the divisional series, lets see how far it takes them.