October Bound: Breaking down the Nationals’ ideal postseason roster

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Sep 5, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals manager

Matt Williams

(9) removes relief pitcher

Rafael Soriano

(29) from the game against the Philadelphia Phillies during the ninth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Last But Not Least: Rounding out the ‘pen

As for the three remaining spots, given the flexibility this roster has on the bench, they go to the bullpen. Yes, I know that is 12 pitchers on the roster. However, situational matchups in the postseason eat through a bullpen quickly. A team is more likely to need more pitching matchups than hitting matchups.

As much as I hate to do it, I have to put Jerry Blevins on the roster. He has not had a good year, but the team needs another situational lefty in the ‘pen. Like Schierholtz, Blevins makes the roster because he was lucky enough to be born left-handed.

Now we have two spots to fill. The candidates are Aaron Barrett, Ross Detwiler and Rafael Soriano.

Barrett gets the nod over Detwiler and Soriano. He is pitching well and is more accustomed to coming in and getting one right-handed batter out than anyone else on the roster.

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Now it comes down to Detwiler or Soriano.

Detwiler has not been pitching well, but he’s another situational left-hander. He can also go a couple of innings if needed, but with Stammen and Roark already in the ‘pen, that may not be a factor in his favor.

Soriano is still a work in progress as he is still trying to solve his arm slot problems. I don’t like the way Detwiler has been pitching, but I don’t think the Nationals can afford to put a reclamation project on the postseason roster and cross their fingers that Soriano will magically be effective. It is incredible that one of the first half saves leaders will not make my roster, but in looking at Soriano’s second half, I simply can’t go there. He’s off my roster.

I live in a twisted household. My husband and I sat down and wrote out our postseason rosters Saturday morning because we were arguing about it. Neither of us put Soriano on our respective rosters. In fact, neither of us, it turned out, even considered adding him.

It will be interesting to see how Matt Williams sets the roster and the number of pitchers the Nationals carry into the postseason for the first round. My guess is Soriano will make the roster for Williams, and in that event Detwiler may not make it.

Let the arguments begin.

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