Narrowing down the Angels’ postseason roster …

The Angels have a lot of questions to sort through before their postseason roster must be submitted to Major League Baseball on the morning of Oct. 2, must prominent of which is the health of Josh Hamilton and Matt Shoemaker. Assuming Hamilton and Shoemaker are healthy (-ish), here’s a look at the players I deem locks to crack Mike Scioscia‘s ALDS roster …

Starting lineup

Chris Iannetta
Albert Pujols
Howie Kendrick
David Freese
Erick Aybar
Hamilton
Mike Trout
Kole Calhoun

Starting rotation

Jered Weaver
C.J. Wilson
Shoemaker
Hector Santiago

Relievers

Huston Street
Joe Smith
Kevin Jepsen
Jason Grilli
Fernando Salas
Mike Morin

Reserves

Hank Conger
Gordon Beckham
Collin Cowgill

That’s 21 of 25 spots. Now here’s a look at the guys who are perceivably on the bubble (again, just my educated guess here) …

SS/3B/2B John McDonald: The 39-year-old has had a very set role all year, as a late-game defensive replacement for Freese at third base, but it would be tough to carry him given the fact Beckham — acquired with the playoffs in mind — can essentially fill the same role.

DH/LF/RF Brennan Boesch: The power left-handed hitter has started 10 games in September, and entered Monday with six hits (and two homers) in his last 16 at-bats. Scioscia clearly likes playing him, but not in the field, and he may have to if Hamilton can only DH.

1B/LF/RF Efren Navarro: He doesn’t bring as much power as Boesch, but he’s another lefty bat who has adjusted quickly to the outfield and is a very disciplined hitter.

1B/DH C.J. Cron: I expect at least one of Boesch or Navarro to make the team, and I’d be shocked if Cron didn’t make it as a right-handed power bat who can start (or pinch-hit) against a lefty.

CF/LF/RF Tony Campana: Campana can play a very particular role on this team, as a Chone Figgins-esque pinch-runner. His placement on the roster could hinge greatly on whether the Angels go with a 12-man pitching staff (commonplace for the regular season) or 11-man pitching staff (commonplace for the shorter ALDS).

LH Joe Thatcher: It seemed like a given that Thatcher would crack the roster as that critical lefty specialist when the Angels traded for him in July, but he’s been slowed by an ankle injury and hasn’t fared well against lefties this year, and Scioscia has often said he won’t carry a lefty if he isn’t getting outs.

RH Cory Rasmus: The Angels have plenty of right-handed power arms in their bullpen, but Rasmus has pitched well and provides length. Who knows, maybe he even starts a playoff game.

LH Wade LeBlanc: LeBlanc doesn’t seem to have a chance at cracking the roster if Shoemaker is healthy, but what if he has another solid start on Tuesday?

Alden

14 Comments

What about O’Malley?

CJ will choke. So will Hambone

Thanks for your expert analysis LeRoy, always appreciated.

Do you really want Cj starting game 2 of the playoffs? Guy cannot even get the ball over the plate. When no one swings at his junk he walks in runs. He is a joke. Always the 1st to blink when the pressure is on. As for Hambone. He can hit 4 homeruns in an empty stadium in May but when the season is on the line he wiffs 4x at home in Sept. You cannot count on him with his injuries. He plays like a 20 year old in a 40 year old body. Does not use his head. He had a tough season last year. This year was even worse.

Agreed – those two are like Texas KGB

Just think … if they were playing for texas this year they would have lost 100 games.

Navarro, Cron, Rasmus and LeBlanc should be added, although I could easily see Campana over Cron. Campana would be a great option for a late inning pinch-runner.

It would be interesting to see if Sean Newcomb could sneak in there.

They should pitch him b4 see how he looks I agree though

Rasmus should be a shoe in

Rasmus is a lock to make the postseason roster and could potentially start a game if Santiago has another horrible start tomorrow. That could mean that LeBlanc may make the roster as long relief and Santiago stays home.

I’m not sure they can afford to put McDonald or Campana on the roster when those spots could be for a relief pitcher.

But I do think you are right that only two of Boesch/Cron/Navarro will make it. Think one of them will be Navarro since he can play OF and 1B and normally will give you a good AB albeit without power.

But, I think Salas is more on the bubble than you think. He looks a bit tired. Could see Pestano sneak in.

Josh Hamilton should NOT be on the playoff roster. He has lost his power and that is very evident when examining the sharp drop in his HR distances.
In 2012, 30 of Hamilton’s home runs went over 400 feet.
In 2013 that number dropped to 12.
But in 2014 Hamilton has hit only ONE home run that went over 400 feet (barely, at 401).
source:
http://www.hittrackeronline.com/detail.php?id=2014_130&type=hitter&sortm=true_dist&sort=desc

The decline in HR distance is alarming. No wonder he has hit ZERO home runs at home this year. Josh Hamilton does not help the Angels. He no longer is the player he used to be. His ability to hit for power is gone.

You are right. He is injured. Did the same thing for the Rangers in thier 2nd ws trip. Yes he hit a homerun in game 6 but that was the only one he the entire playoff run (remember pujols hit 3 in one ws game alone). He is not a hall of famer. He is a great hitter when his head is right. But with his contract he has nothing to play for. he needs a carrot dangling in front of him to perform. Even then he has trouble in crunch time. He is not a leader.

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