The Playoff Roster Moves | The Process Report

The Playoff Roster Moves

By R.J. Anderson //

Okay, playoff rosters have to be set at midnight, let’s roll through the scenarios. By my count, Brad Hawpe, Jake McGee, Jeremy Hellickson, Grant Balfour, and perhaps Desmond Jennings will be added to the playoff roster between right now and then. To qualify for the roster, the player must be on the 25-man roster or on the disabled list before midnight on August 31. That takes care of Balfour and Gabe Kapler, who will both be on the 15-day disabled list through tonight.

A while back I documented how J.P. Howell’s injury could help the Rays with regards to the playoff roster. McGee doesn’t seem likely to make an appearance on the 25-man roster over the next eight or so hours, but the Rays can have Howell on the playoff roster and request the commissioner’s office to replace him between now and the day before the division series begins. Presumably, McGee will take that slot. It was erroneously speculated by the St. Petersburg Times that Rocco Baldelli could take that slot, but that is against the rules. Pitchers may only replace pitchers and position players may only replace position players.

As Howell is on the 60-day disabled list, this clears a 40-man roster spot for Hawpe. He’ll presumably be called up between now and midnight, although Kapler moving to the 60-day disabled list would prevent another move being required. The same could be said for Jennings and Hellickson too. The most likely candidates to hit the bricks for these guys are players with options remaining. Reid Brignac and Andy Sonnanstine, for instance, could be demoted tonight and return as soon as their affiliate’s regular season ends. Given that there are fewer than 20 days remaining in the minor league seasons, neither would use an option, and since there are fewer than 10 days remaining, both could return quicker than usual. (This is how Juan Salas was demoted on 8/31 and rejoined the team days later in 2008.)

The drawback is neither would be eligible for the playoffs barring another injury.

Theoretically the moves could look like this:

Sonnanstine to Montgomery, rejoins team in a week, Hawpe takes his 25-man spot.
Brignac to Montgomery, rejoins team in a week, Jennings takes his 25-man spot.
Cormier to the disabled list retroactive to his last appearance, Hellickson takes his 25-man spot.
Balfour rejoins team later this week. No further roster move needed.
McGee joins team later in September, Rays request the right to replace Howell on the playoff roster, are granted request, and place McGee on instead.

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