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.

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The Reds face the Mets in the second game of the series. They remain tied with the Pirates for second place in the NL Central and the home field advantage for the Wild Card play-in game. Both teams are two games behind the St. Louis Cardinals. The Pirates (Gerrit Cole) face the Chicago Cubs (Chris […]

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 […]

The Reds have pitched the 2013 season with 20 different arms (compared to just 17 last year.) Eight different pitchers have made at least one start this year while another 12 were used exclusively in relief appearances.

The table below summarizes the season’s statistics (through 8/17) for these 20 pitchers, ranked by WAR. Some items worth noting:

— After having five different starters make all but one start last year, the Reds still had 4 different pitchers make at least 30 starts this season.

— Looking at all MLB pitchers, Mat Latos and Homer Bailey rank 9th and 17th, respectively, in fWAR.

— The pitching staff is still very young.

— If you extrapolate LeCure’s and Hoover’s WAR out to the number of innings the starters threw, they’d have a WAR slightly better than Mike Leake.

— Adjusted for innings pitched, Aroldis Chapman has the best WAR on the team.

— Manny Parra has struck out more than 11 batters per nine innings, the highest rate of his career.

I think it is pretty clear that the pitchers on the playoff roster come from the top 12 on this list. As Steve posed yesterday, if the Reds go with 11 pitchers (in the NLDS/NLCS/WS rounds) there is a tough decision to be made about who is left off the roster.

# Name (Age) G/GS IP ERA FIP’ WHIP BABIP HR/9 BB/9 K/9 WAR’
1 Mat Latos (25) 30/30 197.2 3.14 3.24 1.21 .301 0.5 2.5 8.2 4.2
2 Homer Bailey (27) 30/30 198.1 3.40 3.16 1.11 .291 0.8 2.1 8.8 3.9
3 Mike Leake (25) 30/30 190.2 3.21 3.97 1.22 .277 0.9 2.3 5.7 2.7
4 Bronson Arroyo (36) 30/30 192.1 3.56 3.99 1.13 .270 1.2 1.5 5.6 2.5
5 Tony Cingrani (23) 23/18 104.2 2.92 3.65 1.10 .241 1.2 3.7 10.3 1.9
6 Aroldis Chapman (25) 64 59.2 2.56 2.28 1.04 .287 1.1 3.9 15.8 1.7
7 Johnny Cueto (27) 10/10 53.2 3.02 3.41 1.08 .252 1.0 2.5 7.7 1.0
8 Sam LeCure (29) 59 57 2.84 3.18 1.21 .290 0.6 3.6 9.8 1.0
9 J.J. Hoover (25) 63 61 2.95 3.70 1.12 .245 0.9 3.5 9.3 0.9
10 Manny Parra (30) 51 41.2 3.46 3.02 1.25 .317 1.1 3.2 11.4 0.5
11 Alfredo Simon (32) 58 78 3.23 4.05 1.08 .243 0.9 2.4 6.8 0.4
12 Sean Marshall (30) 12 8 2.25 1.98 0.75 .211 0.0 2.3 10.1 0.2
13 Nick Christiani (25) 2 3 0.00 6.53 0.67 .000 0.0 6.0 3.0 0.1
14 Zach Duke (30) 9 5.2 1.59 3.39 0.71 .188 1.6 0.0 6.4 0.1
15 Justin Freeman (26) 1 1 18.00 11.61 2.00 .250 9.0 0.0 0.0 -0.1
16 Logan Ondrusek (28) 46 48 4.13 4.07 1.31 .284 1.3 3.0 7.7 -0.1
17 Greg Reynolds (27) 4/3 20.2 5.66 4.88 1.4 .307 1.3 1.3 3.5 -0.2
18 Jonathan Broxton (29) 34 30.2 4.11 4.60 1.27 .261 1.2 3.5 7.3 -0.4
19 Pedro Villarreal (25) 2/1 5.2 12.71 9.27 2.82 .429 6.4 4.8 6.4 -0.4
20 Curtis Partch (26) 13 21.1 6.75 7.83 1.55 .161 3.4 6.8 6.3 -0.7

All statistics above are from either Baseball-reference.com or Fangraphs.com.

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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 […]

Happy Labor Day! Reminder that the game today vs. the Cardinals starts at 1:10 p.m. ET and is being broadcast on the MLB Network. • Four weeks remain in the regular season. The next ten games are in the win-friendly confines of Great American Ball Park. The home stand includes four with the Cardinals, three with […]

Let’s recap tonight’s titanic struggle…. FINAL Cincinnati 8 Colorado 3 W: G. Reynolds (1-2) L: J. Nicasio (8-7) BOX SCORE POSITIVES –Greg Reynolds pitched eight solid innings against the team that made him a first-round draft choice, allowing three runs on seven hits. It was the first major league win in two years for Reynolds, […]

The Reds will try to win round 2 after losing round 1 last night. Greg Reynolds will try to get his first win of the season. You will discuss the game here and cheer on the Reds!  Go Reds! Chris WilsonA simple Reds fan from a simple town. I have been a Reds fan all […]

Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle…. FINAL Cincinnati 1 Milwaukee 3 W: M. Estrada (6-4) L: G. Reynolds (0-2) S: J. Henderson (21) BOX SCORE POSITIVES –You can’t ask Greg Reynolds for anything more than he provided this afternoon. Reynolds, starting in place of Tony Cingrani (who was placed on the 15-day DL today), gave up […]

The Brewers (55-72) arrive at Great American Ball Park for a three-game series this weekend no longer in last place in the NL Central. Here is a summary of the starting pitching match-ups. KEY: K/9 and BB/9 are the number of strikeouts and walks the pitcher records in 9 innings. SwStr% is the percentage of their pitches […]

Games Played on 08/20/13 Minor League Player of the Day: Louisville SP Greg Reynolds: He got the win as he went 9 IP and allowed 1 R on 5 H and 0 BB with 4 K. AAA Louisville 5 – Rochester 1 Mike Hessman went 2 for 4 with 2 2B and a BB. Billy […]