BY: Richard W. Humphrey
Thursday morning, the Rangers set their playoff roster for the ALDS that begins in Toronto Thursday afternoon. The roster is:
Pitchers (11): Five starters – Cole Hamels, Yovani Gallardo, Derek Holland, Colby Lewis and Martin Perez. Six relievers – Shawn Tolleson, Sam Dyson, Jake Diekman, Alex Gonzalez, Keone Kela and Ross Ohlendorf.
Catchers (2): Robinson Chirinos and Chris Gimenez.
Infielders (7): Mitch Moreland, Rougned Odor, Elvis Andrus, Adrian Beltre, Mike Napoli, Prince Fielder, and Hanser Alberto.
Outfielders (5): Josh Hamilton, Delino Deshields, Jr., Sin-Shoo Choo, Drew Stubbs and Will Venable.
During the regular season, the Rangers routinely carried 12 pitchers. Most teams drop their staff to 11 for the playoffs as four starters are all that is needed with travel days. Many even drop the staff to 10, as with the off days, a reliever can be dropped too. The Rangers chose to carry all five starters, but at least one will appear in relief if all five pitch in the series. The Rangers will use only four starting pitchers if the series goes five games with game two starter Cole Hamels pitching game five on normal rest.
The relievers include just one lefty – Jake Diekman. Sam Freeman and Andrew Faulkner, the other two lefties in the bullpen at season’s end, were left off the roster. Toronto has a very right-handed oriented lineup, and Martin Perez may become a second left-handed relief option.
Keone Kela is perhaps a surprise. He was held out for five days during the last week of the season, when situations certainly presented opportunity for Kela. The club and Kela finally fessed up that there was soreness in his elbow. When he did pitch last Saturday, he retired a batter to end the seventh inning, but reported that the soreness was there and that he could not continue. Certainly, he was a valuable part of the bullpen during the season, and if healthy, the Rangers definitely want him available. Health is the issue here.
The position players were pretty much as expected. It’s a shame for Bobby Wilson to be omitted. He was invaluable to the Rangers in August and September when Chirinos and Carlos Corporan both went of the disabled list. Chirinos obviously showed that he is healthy in the past couple of weeks, and Gimenez has become Hamels’ personal catcher. Wilson only makes the roster if the club went with three catchers.