Thursday, September 22, 2016

Looking ahead to the playoffs

Yes, the Indians might lose all the rest of their games, the Tigers may get hot and we may not win the division.  It could happen.   But the odds are that it will not.

Given the probability of this team making the playoffs let's size up our playoff team.

Catcher - I think we are set with Perez and Gimenez,  unless one gets hurt
First base/DH - Santana and Napoli are set here, although I would like to see Napoli rested about 2/3 of the time the rest of the way as he is reaching unknown territory in terns of games played.
Infield - We are pretty well set as it looks like Ramirez, Lindor and Kipnis are locked in with Michael Martinez as the one utility infielder.
Outfield - Crisp, Davis, Chisenhall, Naquin and Guyer appear to have those spots manned pretty well.

That gives you 13 players but 5 of them are outfielders.   We are VERY short on the infield and will have two outfielders sitting on the bench doing nothing in every game.  In an AL series that is a little tough to take. 

The pitching staff is another story as that is far from set.

Starters - Kluber, Bauer and Tomlin are pretty much locks
Bullpen - Shaw, Miller, Allen, Otero, McAllister and Manship look like locks right now
Question marks - In an ideal world Tomlin would have been our long man and we would have gone with a 4 man rotation.   However, without Carrasco and Salazar we are not going to have that luxury.   This where Francona and his staff make their money.  We have 3 spots left to fill.  I don't know who they are going to pick but likely one of them has to be a starter with two relievers, one of whom can give you innings deep in the game if need be.  My guess would be that they would pick

Starter - Clevinger
Relievers - Joe Colon and Ryan Merritt

However, I really have no idea.  Will they keep one less outfielder and add another reliever so they can have a bullpen day, if need be?  Will they decide on different  relievers other than Colon? 

I don't have the answers.   I just hope Francona does

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