Highlighting Several of September’s Potential Roster Battles

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Besides the discussions about how close the Dodgers and the Braves are for home-field advantage throughout the National league playoffs, one other hot topic gaining momentum is which players will be included on the Los Angeles NLDS roster to begin the postseason.

As far as the pitching staff goes, one of the biggest factors surrounds the progress in the recovery of veteran starter Rich Hill. The lefty recently completed another successful bullpen at Dodger Stadium on Monday, and his next step will be facing live hitters. Should everything workout according to plan, most believe that he’ll slot into the playoff rotation as the fourth starter.

If that’s indeed the case, what it likely means is that Tony Gonsolin will be a member of the NLDS relief crew, potentially pushing guys like Yimi Garcia, Caleb Ferguson and Dylan Floro out of the bullpen picture completely.

Obviously, injuries and health will play huge parts in determining the final NLDS roster. Besides Hill, some of the major concerns at the moment are the health of players like Alex Verdugo, Max Muncy, Chris Taylor and Joc Pederson. Of course, some are more serious than others, but all are definitely worth keeping a close eye on. At this stage of the game, if any type of serious injury crops up anywhere, it could end up being detrimental for a player in terms of a roster spot.

One specific situation to consider is a potential battle between two young left-handed hitters in Matt Beaty and Gavin Lux, which could end up being one of the final roster decisions if everyone else is healthy. Beatty has a bit of an MLB track record from which to judge, while Lux will be doing all his auditioning from this point forward.

Beatty definitely has more value on defense as he can handle many more positions in both the infield and outfield, but his biggest downfall is that he’s never had much success against lefty pitching—even throughout much of his minor league career. That said, over the next several weeks, it will be interesting to see if Lux gets some opportunities at the plate against opposing southpaws.

The crazy thing about Lux is that his 2019 splits at Oklahoma City were absolutely fantastic. His overall Triple-A slash line was an insane  .392/.478/.719 in 199 AB. Against right-handers, he hit .395/.484/.752 over 157 AB. In 42 AB against lefties, he slashed .381/.458/.595. Most of his power numbers resulted from his success against righties, but the numbers are still outstanding.

MLB pitching is surely a different animal, but it will be intriguing to observe how Lux is used down the stretch. If he’s riding a hot offensive streak into the playoffs—with some success against lefty pitching—he could end up earning a spot on the postseason roster, despite Beaty’s defensive versatility, late-game heroics and ability to contribute off the bench.

For fans who love to hypothesize and speculate, there will definitely be a lot to chew on over the coming weeks.


23 thoughts on “Highlighting Several of September’s Potential Roster Battles

  1. Though he hasn’t done it, I think Lux can play anywhere on the infield. If you are a shortstop, second and third are easy to pick up. If he can hit LH pitchers at this level, he may make the postseason roster. What a player to have on your bench. Though I don’t expect it, I hope he makes it. I really like this kid.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He has looked good so far and not rattled at all at the plate. Verdugo re-injured so it looks like Alex may be out of the playoff picture. He was nursing an oblique injury and we all know how long those can take to heal. Barnes not back on the roster yet either.


      1. Got a question for you Bear… is Lux eligible for the post season? Seems to me a player has to be on the 40 man roster by September 1st to be eligible. When was he added?


      2. Lux was added to the 40-man on September 2.

        Per Major League Baseball’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, players must meet certain criteria in order to be eligible for postseason play.

        Any player who is on the 40-man roster or 60-day injured list as of 11:59 p.m. ET on Aug. 31 is eligible for the postseason.

        Those on the restricted list at that point are also eligible if they haven’t been suspended for performance-enhancing drugs during that season. (All players who have served a suspension for PEDs in a given season are ineligible for postseason play that year.)

        A player who doesn’t meet said criteria for postseason eligibility can still be added to a team’s roster in the postseason via petition to the Commissioner’s Office if the player was in the organization on Aug. 31 and is replacing someone who is on the injured list and has served the minimum amount of time required for activation. (For example, a player on the 10-day injured list who has been on it for at least 10 days, or a player who has been on the 60-day injured list for at least 60 days.)


      3. That was easy. But his OPS dipped to .539 last night. 3 Ks a day after an 0 for 4. Not so easy at this level is it kid. I wonder if a hole has been discovered. Maybe those who saw the game can analyze it.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. He got fooled by some breaking balls down in the zone and that is where they pitched him all night. 3 games into his career, I am not worried.


  2. MLB BR rumors again talking about off season trades. Syndergaard to the Padres, Rendon to the Braves, Lindor to the Yankees, Bumgarner to the Phils… etc.

    And yes we are again mentioned in talks for Felipe Vasquez

    “L.A. could build a package around Ruiz and 21-year-old right-hander Josiah Gray, who has a 2.28 ERA and 0.99 WHIP with 147 strikeouts in 130 innings over three minor league levels this season while reaching Double-A. Would that be enough to get a deal done?

    If so, Vazquez would give the Dodgers another elite late-inning arm to pair with closer Kenley Jansen.

    The 28-year-old southpaw has nailed down 24 of 27 save chances with a 1.78 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 13.3 K/9 in 52 appearances in his third season as the Pirates closer.”

    A few things come to mind: why isn’t he here now, he’s going to be 29, but not a lot of innings on his arm yet and instead of pairing him with Jansen, have him replace Jansen.

    Is it possible to move Jansen and that bloated contract? Though some of his numbers are impressive (K/9, WHIP) I just don’t trust him to keep it together for $38 million more dollars. But that’s me. I’m sure Bear can point out the flaws in my logic, but this morning, after coffee and half a smoothie I’d trade Jansen for Vazquez going forward into October of this year and at least 2 years after that. I’d give the $25 million I’d save to Gerrit Cole. Of course, moving Jansen might cost a lot of that $25 million cuz he ain’t worth $38 million.

    Time to get some work in before it gets hot again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do not see any flaws in your logic. The only reason he is not here is because AF felt the asking price was more than the Dodgers felt he was worth. Nobody except those who were in the discussions know exactly what the price was. What we do know is that he did not make the deal and we ended up with Kolarek. Story in MLB.com about who could be the super teams next year. Pretty sure that is what you were alluding to. They say there is also a possibility now that Strasburg could possible opt out of his contract which has 4 years and 100 million left. Boras is his agent and with him having a career year, the chances are high. As for Kenley, he is obviously not the same pitcher. Not even close. All I know is that every time he comes in the blood pressure goes up. But unloading that contract seems highly improbable. Not impossible because AF has unloaded them before. But for the Pirates to take that contract in a trade even if the Dodgers paid say half, seems very unlikely. If they go after Vazquez, I would think it is going to take a pretty good package of kids to get him. Dennis should talk some trash about Bellinger so he can get hot again. Look what he did for Joc! 32 homers for Joc this year. Turner 3 from 30, so we could end up with 4 players with 30 or more again. Would be the 3rd time in team history. Anyone remember the 1st time it happened?


  3. Mr. Ryu is costing himself a lot of money right now. I really hope he can get himself straightened out by the end of the month, but if he continues to pitch this way, I don’t see how Roberts can let him start a playoff game. Hill and Urias might be our number 3 and 4 starters even though neither has been stretched out.
    We’ve seen openers become the thing. The Dodgers may be the first to use tandem starters:
    Game 3 – Hill/Stripling
    Game 4 – Urias/Gonsolin
    Hope that each of those pairs can go 7-8 innings and then use the remainder of the bullpen to close it out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Roberts said in an interview that it is not about his stuff. It is about location. I believe they might go ahead and let him miss a start and go from there. That seems to be the philosophy when the starters have a couple bad outings. Buehler did not look that great and neither did Kersh the last time out. But the bullpen, save a couple of bombs that meant nothing in this Rockies series, has been looking a lot better.


      1. I’m surprised he made this start. I’d put him on a 6 man schedule if possible, or go ahead and IL him now. He’s obviously not right.

        I think Bear is likely spot on about Velasquez and Jansen. I think that only because I agree with him and that makes me spot on too. Ruiz and Gray is a lot for a reliever but that’s the level of talent somebody will offer, might as well be us. I guess.


      2. I’m probably in the minority here but I’m not trading Gray. Off limits!
        When I see what happened to Diaz (plus so many other good relievers) this year, I really hesitate to trade the whole farm system for a reliever. Yes, I realize that may mean we go another ten years without winning a WS, but I agree with Friedman on this one. You can fire both of us.


  4. Gray is a keeper. As for Ruiz, do they want to use him and Smith in tandem since Smith can also play 1st base? Cartaya, their #1 catching prospect after Ruiz is only 16 1/2 years old and more than a few years away. Do they stick to the present formula and bring in a vet to back up Smith if Ruiz is traded? Lots of questions that the answers to are a ways down the road.


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