“I’m hoping to see a few of the marginal post season applicants separate themselves, one way or the other, against the Cardinals.”
I am not sure who Badger was referring to, but it did get me to thinking. IMO, the position players are set. Yesterday Sam brought up a choice between Hanser Alberto and Miguel Vargas. Again IMO, there is no competition for that spot. Hanser should have that spot locked up.
Let’s forget for a moment the benefit his personality on the bench is. Although that ability to keep the team loose is important, it is the baseball skills that should make the largest statement and become the deciding factor. Hanser is a veteran player who is a much better defensive player than Vargas. Hanser is a proven ML hitter who is very comfortable coming off the bench.
Since his August 3 debut when he went 2-4, Miguel has struggled mightily since then. In 9 games and 29 PA, Miguel is 3-28 (all singles), with 1 BB and 7 K. I will go with how Justin Turner described it. Hitting a baseball is hard enough, but if you are not used to coming off the bench and sitting for multiple games at a time, it really becomes tough. And that is what Vargas is experiencing as a role player. That will not be his role in the future, but it is now, and Hanser handles that much better.
That being said, this is what I expect the 13 position players to be when the NLDS rosters are set.
- Will Smith
- Austin Barnes
- Freddie Freeman
- Gavin Lux
- Trea Turner
- Justin Turner
- Max Muncy
- Hanser Alberto
- Mookie Betts
- Cody Bellinger
- Trayce Thompson
- Chris Taylor
- Joey Gallo
So for me, the position players are set, and the questions surround the pitching. It is expected that there will be 4 starters and 9 relievers.
- Julio Urias
- Clayton Kershaw
- Tyler Anderson
Options for #4
- Andrew Heaney
- Dustin May
If Heaney is not the #4 starter, he will be in the bullpen. If May is not the #4 starter, his role will be in question. Because the three expected starters are all LH, May is going to get every opportunity to show that he deserves the nod.
- Caleb Ferguson
- Tommy Kahnle
- Craig Kimbrel
- Chris Martin
- Evan Phillips
- Alex Vesia
Other options currently on the roster:
- Brusdar Graterol
- Phil Bickford
Other options currently on the IL:
- David Price
- Yency Almonte
- Blake Treinen
- Brusdar Graterol has 12 games to show that he is deserving of a roster spot. He did look good on Thursday.
- Yency Almonte is on a rehab assignment with OKC, and in his first game he pitched a perfect inning with 2 Ks. He is expected to pitch again Friday and Sunday, and if all goes well, he could be activated early next week against San Diego.
- David Price threw an inning in a simulated game. If he bounces back on Friday, he could be activated soon.
- Earlier in the week, Blake Treinen was pronounced not yet ready, and now the doubts that Blake will be ready for the post season are screaming.
Dave Roberts said Blake Treinen is still not bouncing back as well as anticipated. Treinen won’t throw for the next two days and they’ll see how he’s feeling then.
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) September 22, 2022
One pitcher not mentioned above is Tony Gonsolin. Gonsolin threw a simulated game on Thursday and Dave Roberts said that it was encouraging. Below is what he had to say on multiple pitchers trying to come back.
Dave Roberts shares an update on Tony Gonsolin's simulated game and much more. pic.twitter.com/hg5fet68Ht
— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) September 23, 2022
Based on Roberts’ assessment, we will have to wait to see how both Price and Gonsolin feel on Friday before any conclusion can be made as to the next phase of the rehab process.
Roberts did comment that Gonsolin’s role would be as a starter and not necessarily as an opener. The staff would monitor his workload as the game progressed. Yes, I am sure there will be a cap on his pitch count, but it sounds like he would not necessarily be subjected to simply pitch the 1st inning.
There are still a lot of questions with respect to the pitching that will be decided in the next three weeks.
But whatever happens, I hope that the team can get some help soon because pitchers like Evan Phillips could use a break. His coming in the 6th inning with a runner on 2nd and 1 out is exactly the situation Phillips would be called in for the playoffs. He responded quite well, but his vaunted slider has not been as sharp in his last few outings.
No matter the makeup of the bullpen, I think the Craig Kimbrel should not be allowed to pitch in any high leverage situation just as KJ was demoted in 2020. If it is performance based as Roberts has intimated, Kimbrel does not deserve to get the closer role.
WHAT A GREAT GAME
MiLB Game Summary
OKC Dodgers 2 vs El Paso Chihuahuas (San Diego) 3
OKC lost their second consecutive game to El Paso Chihuahuas (San Diego) 3-2 on an unearned run. OKC faced former top Boston pitching prospect Jay Groome who went 8.0 IP (96 pitches). San Diego received Groome in the Eric Hosmer deal with Boston at the deadline.
Pitcher of note was a perfect inning with 2 Ks in relief by Victor Gonzalez. Perhaps he is not out of the discussion. Might as well keep him sharp JUST IN CASE.
James Outman had 2 hits including his 13th OKC HR (29th overall) and 2 RBIs. He now has 102 on the MiLB season.
Wichita Wind Surge (Minnesota) 11 vs Tulsa Drillers 1
The 2022 season has come to a thud. The Drillers were thoroughly thrashed in both playoff games. They were outscored 28-2 in the 2 games. There was not much positive to discuss about this game. Justin Yurchak did have 2 singles while Kody Hoese had the other single.
The Dodger bats looked lethargic. The only golf swing that made contact last night was Bellinger’s ninth-inning double
The names I had in mind were Gallo, May, Treinen and Vargas. I could even add Bellinger though he isn’t an applicant. He hasn’t gone yard in over a month and has 14 0fers during that time. He remains a huge disappointment, as does Vargas but expecting him to step was a huge ask. Alberto, and his negative WAR, is the guy.
Urias, Kershaw, Anderson and Heaney. Maybe May, but he doesn’t look ready yet. 2 more starts? Might be enough.
I would not even consider re-signing Joey Gallo for a full season, but he could go off in a short series against RHP. For me, I do not think Vargas is a disappointment. This is what I expected of him. He needs to play everyday, and with this team, this year, he will not. He is not a Julio Rodriguez or Corbin Carroll. He is more of a Brendan Rodgers (Colorado) who needed multiple times before he got locked in. And Rodgers was a much higher rated prospect.
I agree with you that Bellinger is a HUGE disappointment. I can only hope that he will change for the post season as he did last year. Same with CT3.
I get the impression that Treinen is done for the year. When the eternal optimist, Dave Roberts, has doubts that he will pitch again this year, I have to believe the odds are very long for him to return. That may be why Victor Gonzalez is ramping up again.
I will wait to see what Dustin May can do in his next two starts.
Really sorry that Vargas hasn’t gotten off to a better start for his career, but they have made it very difficult for him with the lack of playing time.
We are back to having our black hole at the end of the lineup again and it would have been nice to plug Vargas into one of those spots. Gallo, Trayce, Belli and CT3 have, for the month of September, stuck out at a ridiculous clip with Trayce being the worst offender (over 50%).
Jeff, you say you don’t want Kimbrel pitching in any high leverage situations. I think we’ve reached the point where he shouldn’t be pitching, period. A healthy Almonte, VGon, Price or Gonsolin are certainly all more worthy of a roster spot than our current closer.
If VGon comes back, it will necessitate someone being lopped off the 40-man. I’d much rather that be Kimbrel than someone like Bickford or Bruihl, since we still have control over them and could actually trade them this winter rather than just releasing them now.
That’s exactly how I feel about Vargas. He’s here with opportunity to kick the door down and it kinda feels like that kicking foot got stuck in the door. He’s not a disappointment but his performance, for me anyway, is. I really wanted him to go Puig on the league.
Jeff, Gallo was never about next year. That’s not to say it couldn’t be, but I believe his pickup is exactly about what STB said it was – to help win a championship by dominating in spurts.
I’m not getting my hopes up for Vargas, this year or next. I don’t feel tied to any prospects and maybe I think Jeff made me that way.
I’m not locked in on Trea either.
I hope Bellinger is a Yankee next year.
In order for that to happen, the Yankees would have to hope Bellinger is a Yankee next year.
He might could pop a few over that short porch. He still has warning track power. And, he can still play the outfield. Maybe the Yankees could use him. I don’t know their situation that well.
Im not ready to count on any prospects yet, but I remain hopeful. I think Vargas has the tools. But I was high on Rios too and he’s all but disappeared. I think Miller is good enough, and I think Pepiot could be but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them moved.
Don’t count Rios out quite yet. To me, he’s a better hitter than Gallo. JT and Max may both be gone in a couple years and Vargas may wind up playing more left field than third base.
That said, I think the odds are better than 50-50 that he’s traded this winter.
50/50. Yep. I agree.
Not getting game tonight, so reading the box. Heaney 86 pitches to get 11 outs, gave up the ever present home run in his outings. Not good. But I figure we’ll score late again.And as I type, Pujols goes yard again.
I disagree. Even if the Yankees don’t hope for it, I can still hope for it. It is an elusive thing.
Roberts just formalized that Kimbrel won’t be closing
Can’t say I find that surprising.
But he didn’t commit to not using him there in the Post Season so he could still earn it back.
Last 30 games:
Gallo 61 AB 29 Ks .131.243.311.554
Thompson 63 AB 33 Ks .206.297.476.773
So, you’re saying both strike out a lot?
Is 50% too a lot?