Ignore everything I said earlier

September 6th, 2007 → 11:43 am @

That post on playoff roster rules? Yeah, it was all wrong. See below for the correct explanation of who’s eligible to suit up come the playoffs…

Post Categories: 2007 Playoffs & Eating Crow & Roster Rules

Jacoby Ellsbury: we will be seeing you in October

September 6th, 2007 → 9:21 am @

Scratch everything I wrote below; that applies to the old rules. The new ones say that any player can replace any other player that’s on the DL…which means Ellsbury can (and I’m pretty confident will) replace either Clement or Donnelly. Thanks to the Union Leader‘s Alex Speier for the clarification (and to reader Lenny Harris for prompting my query). For anyone interested in how Manny’s return (and Ellsbury’s surge) will play out, check out Speier’s piece on that very subject. I’d be shocked if Ellsbury took any serious time away from Coco, who I continue to view as the best center fielder playing right now. Drew (despite also turning in impressive performances in right) wouldn’t surprise me quite as much…

There are lots and lots of arcane rules in baseball; the rules dictating playoff rosters aren’t even close to the weirdest or hardest to understand, but they’re what’s most relevant today…so in response to a query by reader Aaron Cohen, here’s my (undoubtedly insufficient) effort to explain just who can, and can’t, play come the playoffs.

The short answer is, only the 25 guys on the team’s active roster as of August 31, plus anyone who was on either the 15-day or 60-day DL on August 31…which would mean no Clay Buchholz, no Jon Lester, and no Jacoby Ellsbury. The longer answer is, well, almost anyone. Or at least anyone on the team’s 40-man roster.

Let’s back up. I can’t find anyplace that lists the team’s roster at as of last Friday, but I think it looked something like this, including guys on the DL:

Josh Beckett
Curt Schilling
Daisuke Matsuzaka
Tim Wakefield
Julian Tavarez
Jonathan Papelbon
Hideki Okajima
Eric Gagne
Mike Timlin
Manny Delcarmen
Kyle Snyder
Javier Lopez
Matt Clement (60-day DL)
Brendan Donnelly (60-day DL)

Kevin Youkilis (1B, 3B)
Eric Hinske (also can be listed as an outfielder)
Dustin Pedroia (2B)
Alex Cora (2B, SS)
Julio Lugo (SS)
Mike Lowell (3B)
David Ortiz (1B, DH)

Jason Varitek
Kevin Cash
Doug Mirabelli (15-day DL; activated on 9/1)

Manny Ramirez
Coco Crisp
J.D. Drew
Bobby Kielty

Since teams are allowed to replace anyone who is injured for the playoffs, that means that, assuming Clement and Donnelly remain out of action, the team has two pitching spots to play around with; both Lester and Buchholz are eligible for those spots (but, of course, that’d mean that one of the team’s 12-active roster pitchers would need to be left off).* There are also three catchers who are eligible for the team’s two catching spots.

You’ll notice that Ellsbury is not listed anywhere above, and since he’s not a catcher, that would seem to indicate his lack of availability for postseason play. This isn’t entirely true: if one of the five outfielders listed above (I’m including Hinske here, who can be listed as either a corner IF or an OF) gets hurt, or “hurt,” the team can use Ellsbury to fill his position. Barring an actual, season-ending injury, that makes Bobby Kielty the most likely candidate for a phantom pull/strain/etc. Now is that all clear?

(There’s more discussion of sundry roster rules in this Bradford Files post.)

* Playoff rosters can change series to series, a fact which is especially relevant when discussing someone like Buchholz, who is on a strict innings diet.

Post Categories: 2007 Playoffs & 2007 Season & Alex Speier & Clay Buchholz & Jacoby Ellsbury & Roster Rules