Playoff roster crystal ball: Jurickson Profar
It's mid-September, and while the Texas Rangers haven't clinched anything it's not too early to at least speculate and discuss the 25-man playoff roster. A few points to consider:
|Rangers prospect Jurickson Profar touches on his first few games in the majors, how he's handling the pressure, his acting career and more. |
* The opponent the Rangers face in the ALDS could help shape the bullpen choices. The staff wanted to be sure they had left-handed arms to pitch to key left-handed batters against the New York Yankees in 2010 and against the Tampa Bay Rays and Detroit Tigers in 2011. Last year it was Mike Gonzalez that got a couple of key outs as the left-handed specialist.
* It's likely the club will stick with a four-man rotation for the postseason. That would mean someone moving into a long relief role. I've got Scott Feldman over Roy Oswalt in that spot. While Feldman's been inconsistent as a starter, he's pitched pretty well as a long reliever. Oswalt is injured, but even if he ends up fine by the time the postseason begins he isn't making my roster right now.
* As for the final bullpen spots, they are tough. But I like Koji Uehara's splitter these days and I think he can get some key batters out when needed. If he's on the team, it might come down to Tanner Scheppers or Mark Lowe. The overall numbers and experience argument is in Lowe's favor, but Scheppers has swing-and-miss stuff, a fastball with lots of life and is building confidence. As of today, I'd take Scheppers.
* Who else makes the bench? Mike Olt is a clear candidate. He can play a few positions and has a right-handed bat. But he's struggled of late and needs some time in key situations to prove himself. Is he worth having on the bench if he isn't playing well and the coaching staff isn't likely to play him? In that case, do they turn to a pinch-runner spot like Leonys Martin. I'd rather have Olt, if for no other reason than you've got Profar to pinch-run already, and I'm not sure the club will pinch-run that much anyway.
* For this particular roster, I went with eight pitchers in the bullpen. It's worth noting that the Rangers had seven bullpen pitchers last year in the ALDS and added a third catcher to the postseason roster. So they could certainly do that this year or add another bench player since they only have four starters. But for now, I went with the extra arm.
My 25-man roster today in alphabetical order (with lots of time for things to change):
STARTING PITCHERS (4)
NOTE: If you take away a bullpen arm, which one is it? Kirkman? That would give you the ability to add Martin in for speed or Luis Martinez as the third catcher.
So what is your 25-man roster? Is Profar on it? Put yours down in the comment section and let us know why you picked the way you did.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett for his weekly visit to discuss the magnitude of Monday's win against Oakland, how he plans on using Jurickson Profar and how to handle a struggling ballclub.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway & Company to discuss the Rangers' six-game losing streak and how to get out of their slump.
Play Podcast General manager Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the Rangers' offensive struggles, injuries and the plan for Jurickson Profar once Ian Kinsler returns from the disabled list.
Play Podcast Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett for his weekly visit to discuss the Rangers and a potential game-changing trade target for Jon Daniels and company.
Play Podcast Neal Cotts joins Galloway & Company to discuss pitching for the Rangers.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway & Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, the mistakes the team has been making and possible trades.
Play Podcast Steve Busby joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to talk about the Rangers' road trip, surviving an 18-inning game and more.
Play Podcast Eric Nadel, the radio voice of the Texas Rangers, explains on Galloway & Company the bullpen situation that forced Ron Washington's hand in the Boston finale.