Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Texas Rangers [Print without images]

Monday, October 4, 2010
Who belongs on postseason roster?

By Richard Durrett

The Rangers are taking 31 players to Tampa Bay today for two days of workouts as they decide which 25 guys will be on the postseason roster. Texas has until 11 p.m. Dallas time on Tuesday to decide. There are still a few questions remaining:

* Will David Murphy show he's healthy enough to be on the roster? My bet is yes. He's been progressing fine and will get a chance to test the groin in the next few days. But there was no tear and he has done enough to indicate he's likely to be on that roster.

* If the Rangers take 11 pitchers, who makes the final bullpen spots? We know that Cliff Lee, C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis and Tommy Hunter are on the roster as the starters. In the bullpen, Neftali Feliz, Darren O'Day, Darren Oliver and Alexi Ogando are locks. I think Dustin Nippert is on the team as a guy that can give you multiple innings. So that leaves two spots. The Rangers announced Sunday that Mark Lowe and Matt Harrison will not be on the roster, but will go to Arizona to keep throwing in case they are needed for the ALCS. That means Derek Holland, Clay Rapada, Scott Feldman and Michael Kirkman are in the hunt for those final two spots.

My bet is Holland has one of those spots, making that final choice difficult. Since Tampa Bay has more right-handed hitters than the Yankees, the Rangers may figure they don't need Rapada, who is a situational lefty that would ideally pitch to one or two hitters.

* I do wonder if the club wouldn't consider choosing Holland and going with 10 pitchers, enabling them to put pinch-runner Esteban German on the team. It would be a bit risky, but they would have Hunter in the bullpen for Game 1 and could have C.J. Wilson out there for the final few games of the series after he starts in Game 2. Having German to run late, especially for the catchers, would be valuable. And in Nippert and Holland, they'd have two pitchers with some length. I would still bet on 11 pitchers going, but you never know.

* As for first base, I think it's Jorge Cantu and Mitch Moreland. Chris Davis will travel to Tampa, but I think Moreland has earned that other spot.

* Jeff Francoeur will be on this roster as well, even if that means German isn't if the club goes with 11 pitchers. Francoeur has hit left-handers well this season and has postseason experience.

Who would you put on the postseason roster and why?