After hints of possibly bringing just 11 pitchers to their National League Division Series matchup against the Cincinnati Reds, the San Francisco Giants decided to go with 12 pitchers for their 25-man postseason roster. In my postseason roster prediction (as I discussed here), the only roster spot guessed incorrectly was reliever Guillermo Mota in place of outfielder Justin Christian. Under the impression that only 11 pitchers would make the NLDS postseason roster, George Kontos was given the edge over Mota for the last spot.
By bringing 12 pitchers, the Giants are now able to bring both Kontos and Mota instead of deciding between the two of them for the last bullpen spot. With manager Bruce Bochy's preference for playing lefty-on-lefty and righty-on-righty pitching matchups, it was a curious decision at first to initially hint at bringing just 11 pitchers. Another arm in the bullpen will be helpful for making strategic pitching changes and for depth in case of an early exit by a starting pitcher.
With the extra pitcher, there was concern as to whether Aubrey Huff would make the postseason roster. Despite being the team's best pinch hitter, his lack of mobility was a liability and was expected to need a designated pinch runner (Christian, Emmanuel Burriss, or Francisco Peguero) in the situation where he would get on base. With fewer position players on the roster, the Giants opted to have a better bat in Xavier Nady on the roster instead of a speedy pinch running option.
The lack of speed and defensive replacements off the bench could be could be the biggest concern for the NLDS. While the Giants' starting lineup will certainly see the majority of at-bats, these additional options would definitely be useful to have on hand. If the Giants defeat the Reds and advance to the National League Championship Series, they will likely assess their NLDS roster and see whether changes need to be made to the 25-man roster.
San Francisco Giants NLDS Roster
Catchers: Buster Posey, Hector Sanchez
First basemen: Brandon Belt, Aubrey Huff
Second basemen: Marco Scutaro, Ryan Theriot
Shortstops: Joaquin Arias, Brandon Crawford
Third basemen: Pablo Sandoval
Outfielders: Gregor Blanco, Xavier Nady, Angel Pagan, Hunter Pence
Giants announce NLDS roster; Huff, Kontos, Mota survive, CSN Bay Area
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- Sports & Recreation
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- Guillermo Mota
- George Kontos
- Aubrey Huff
- Cincinnati Reds