For the Reds to play a best-of series in the 2013 playoffs, they’ll have to win the 2nd Annual National League Coin Toss game, otherwise known as the Wild Card game. There’s the obvious disadvantage to the non-division winners in this format. However, there is one wrinkle to this playoff game that makes its roster decisions unlike those made in other playoff series.

PLAYOFF ROSTER RULES

The playoff rules allow teams to set their 25-man roster for each round of the playoffs from their playoff roster pool. The Wild Card game is considered its own round. In the other rounds, teams will typically carry 4 starting pitchers. In the Wild Card game, you would not need to carry a full starting rotation. You may not carry as many relievers as you would in other rounds. This change would seem to make it an almost certainty that Billy Hamilton makes the Wild Card postseason roster. SI.com writer Joe Sheehan pointed out last year that it means that teams, which would normally have a few dead roster spots in a postseason series that go to starting pitchers just used or ones scheduled to be used, or perhaps slots for emergency backups in case of injury, could instead craft a bench on which every player has a specific role in winning one do-or-die game.

As I wrote last year, an organization’s postseason player pool is comprised of players who were on the 25-man roster or on the disabled, bereaved, suspended or miltary lists on August 31. For any player in this group who cannot play the post-season because of injury, the club can replace him with any player who was in the organization on August 31. Even players not on the 40-man roster can be added through this process, so long as they are added to the 40-man for the playoffs.

REDS PLAYOFF ROSTER ELIGIBILES

Those rules provide us with the following 31 players in the Reds playoff player pool:

— Starting Pitchers (7): Mat Latos, Homer Bailey, Bronson Arroyo, Mike Leake, Greg Reynolds, Johnny Cueto (DL), Tony Cingrani (DL)
— Relief Pitchers (10): Aroldis Chapman, Sam LeCure, J.J. Hoover, Manny Parra, Alfredo Simon, Logan Ondrusek, Zach Duke, Sean Marshall (DL), Jonathan Broxton (DL), and Nick Masset (DL)
— Starting Position Players (9): Ryan Hanigan, Devin Mesoraco, Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Zack Cozart, Todd Frazier, Ryan Ludwick, Sin-Shoo Choo, and Jay Bruce
— Bench Position Players (5): Cesar Izturis, Jack Hannahan, Chris Heisey, Xavier Paul, and Corky Miller (DL)

Of those 31 players, we know that Jonathan Broxton and Nick Masset are still on the disabled list and are not available to play in the playoffs. The Reds could substitute any player, including Billy Hamilton. The substituted player does not have to be a pitcher.

Continue reading

Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle…. FINAL Mets 1 Reds 0 W: D. Matsuzaka (3-3) L: M. Latos (14-7) BOX SCORE POSITIVES –Mat Latos, after having a run of starts that were alarming for a variety of reasons, was on today. Seven strikeouts and one run in seven innings. That’ll do. –Chapman. NEGATIVES –Offense? Hello? Offense? […]

Doug Gray (of redsminorleagues.com) joined me to discuss the various possibilities for the rest of this Reds season. The consensus: everything is still up in the air. The show also includes a rousing discussion of the excitement surrounding Billy Hamilton, and a look at the potential post-season roster. Enjoy! You can listen with the player […]

Now that the Reds have clinched a postseason spot, the biggest decision they have in front of them is what to do about the starting rotation in the playoffs. I have a pretty solid idea of what they will do, and I know what I would do (I’ll share that at the end), but I […]

The Reds face important and difficult decisions regarding their starting pitcher rotation this week. Current plan: Mon – Cueto, Tue – Leake, Wed – Reynolds, Thu – off, Fri – Latos, Sat – Bailey, Sun – Arroyo. If Cueto pitches really well tonight, that raises the possibility of him being available on Sunday to pitch […]

With Sean Marshall and Johnny Cueto back on the mound, the Reds will confront difficult (in a wonderful way) decisions concerning their postseason roster. The Reds will likely carry eleven pitchers and fourteen position players on their postseason roster. It’s what most teams do and what the Reds did last year and in 2010. [Those eleven […]

The National League Wild Card play-in game takes place exactly two weeks from today. With the triumphal and apparently healthy return of Johnny Cueto, we now have more information from which to base our speculation on the starting pitching assignments through the start of the postseason. Pitchers have been announced for the two remaining games […]

*All stats through games played on September 8th If the playoffs started today, the Reds would have to travel to Pittsburgh for a one-game, do or die elimination playoff game.  While there is still time for the Reds to make a run at the division title and avoid playing in the wild card game, there […]

Do the Cincinnati Reds have a chance to do well in the postseason? Yes, because of the starting pitching. Over the past seven days, the Reds faced the two best offenses in the National League, both postseason bound. Mat Latos and Homer Bailey each pitched two games and Bronson Arroyo, Mike Leake and Tony Cingrani threw […]

With an 8:00 game tonight, I thought some of you might want a place to chat during this fine Sunday, plus I had a couple of things that didn’t merit their own posts, so I decided to throw it all together here. It’s Time to Plan for October The Reds are now 8 games up […]

Today, Major League Baseball announced the complete postseason schedule. Here are the dates that are potentially relevant for the Reds: NL Wild Card Coin Flip Play-In – Tuesday, October 1 NLDS Game 1 – Thursday, October 3 NLDS Game 2 – Friday, October 4 NLDS Game 3 – Sunday, October 6 NLDS Game 4 – Monday, October […]