The regular season is close to wrapping up and while the Indians are still playing to secure home field advantage, it is not too early to start thinking about the playoff roster for the first round.
Majority of the spots I feel are pretty secure. A few guys are injured right now and (knock on wood) hopefully no one else gets hurt at this point. So right now, I am assuming Brantley, Zimmer, and Guyer will be out. I am also assuming Lonnie Chisenhall makes it back.
Saying that, let’s start with the pitching staff. Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, and Trevor Bauer are locked in as the 1, 2 and 3 spots in the rotation. The fourth spot is one of my question marks. In the pen, Andrew Miller, Cody Allen, Bryan Shaw, Mike Clevinger, and Joe Smith are all for sure going to make it. Still leaves 2-3 pen spots open depending on how many arms Tito wants to carry.
Now, the easiest position is catcher. Yan Gomes and Roberto Perez are locks. That position is set. Edwin, and his parrot, at DH is locked as well.
The infield is easier than the outfield so let’s go there. Carlos Santana, Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez are all set. Giovanny Urshela will make it at third and I’m going to go with Yandy Diaz making this roster as well.
So heading into the outfield now, we have 16 spots reserved with at least 3 more going to pitchers. Austin Jackson, Jay Bruce, and Lonnie Chisenhall will all make it. I also believe Jason Kipnis gets a spot. Now, how many outfielders do the Indians keep out there is a big question.
With five spots left, this is where it gets tricky. The starting rotation spot is a battle between Danny Salazar and Josh Tomlin. It’s a real toss up here but I think Tito goes with Salazar. Tomlin deserves to be on this roster but I don’t see it in the cards for him unless Salazar has a meltdown in his next start. 21 spots down.
Now to the pen. Keeping Salazar means you need another pen arm with his limited innings. I think Tito picks 8 and that means to me that Dan Otero, Nick Goody and Tyler Olson all make this roster. Ryan Merritt and Zach McAllister are the two arms that get left off for this round. 24 secured leaving us with 1 more position player.
This is really coming down to three players I believe. Erik Gonzalez, Abraham Almonte, and Greg Allen. Gonzalez is a great utility guy and a speedster on the base paths but I think Urshela, Jose and even Kipnis being able to come back to the infield eliminates his need. Which means it’s Almonte or Allen. Allen is the better defender here and for that reason I think the kid makes the roster. There you go. 25 man roster complete.
Here is the quick run down again.