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Projecting What NLDS Roster Will Look Like

The Milwaukee Brewers will face the Colorado Rockies in the NLDS starting on Thursday. Now that they’re back down to a 25 man roster, what could that look like?

There are going to be a few easy calls when the Milwaukee Brewers whittle their 36 man September roster down to 25 for the playoffs. Tyler Saladino hasn’t really done much since Jonathan Schoop and Mike Moustakas came to town. Matt Albers hasn’t pitched in forever and there’s good reason for that.

But there are going to be more difficult decisions for Craig Counsell as he crafts his perfect roster. This is just my guess as to what he carries into this NLDS matchup against Colorado.

Hitters (13)

Starting Lineup
  1. Lorenzo Cain, CF
  2. Christian Yelich, RF
  3. Ryan Braun, LF
  4. Travis Shaw, 2B
  5. Jesus Aguilar, 1B
  6. Mike Moustakas, 3B
  7. Manny Pina, C
  8. Orlando Arcia, SS
Bench
  1. Erik Kratz, C
  2. Jonathan Schoop, 2B/SS
  3. Hernan Perez, INF/OF
  4. Curtis Granderson, OF
  5. Domingo Santana, OF
Missed The Cut

For the offensive players, most are easy decisions. Schoop and Granderson were picked up for this reason and Perez has gotten decent playing time lately. The toughest bench decision came down to Domingo Santana or Keon Broxton. As mentioned on our podcast last week, it was difficult to choose between them.

After Domingo Santana’s pinch hit double in Game 163, I felt confident in keeping Santana on the roster. Broxton brings speed and defense, but he can’t hit very well and shouldn’t be counted on to do so. He’s a pure pinch runner in the playoffs. While that’s enticing to have, what Santana has shown at the plate is too much to overlook for me.

There’s the possibility Counsell goes with neither and just a four man bench, but in the NL and with how early he pulls his starting pitchers, he’ll likely go with five.

Pitchers (12)

Starting Rotation
  1. Wade Miley, LHP
  2. Gio Gonzalez, LHP
  3. Jhoulys Chacin, RHP
  4. Zach Davies, RHP
Bullpen
  1. Jeremy Jeffress, RHP
  2. Josh Hader, LHP
  3. Corey Knebel, RHP
  4. Joakim Soria, RHP
  5. Corbin Burnes, RHP
  6. Dan Jennings, LHP
  7. Junior Guerra, RHP
  8. Xavier Cedeno, LHP
Missed The Cut

Chase Anderson got his final start of the regular season skipped because of his struggles. Peralta hasn’t pitch much in September. Lyles and Woodruff are long relievers and there can only be so many in a playoff bullpen. Williams struggled along with Barnes to end the year. Albers is clearly not making this roster.

I’m not sure if the Brewers will carry both Jennings and Cedeno. They have similar roles and may only need one of them. In that case, Cedeno or Jennings could be switched out for Williams or Barnes. Both are high powered righties and that will have plenty of value in the postseason.

The rotation I think is pretty much set with those four pitchers. The top five names in that bullpen aren’t going to change. But the final three in Jennings, Guerra, and Cedeno could be up for debate.

The focus of that bullpen will remain on the three top arms in Jeffress, Hader, and Knebel. As long as those three guys are on point and the starting pitchers can make it through five or hopefully six. those guys can shut the door.

Next: 2018 Yelich vs 2011 Braun

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While the depth of the roster will be cut down, the Milwaukee Brewers survived during the first five months of the season just fine with a 25 man roster. They can do so again in October.

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