Postseason Roster

With today the last day of August, it is also the last day for postseason rosters to be set. In other words, anyone who is NOT on the “active” or 25-man roster today, cannot play in the playoffs (should the Mets make them).

For a player to be eligible for the postseason, Major League Baseball rules require him be on the team’s active 25-man roster or on the disabled, bereavement, suspended or military lists before midnight on Aug. 31 of that season. So, playes on the 15-day DL such as Billy Wagner, Matt Wise, Ramon Castro, Marlon Anderson, Trot Nixon, John Maine, El Duque, and, believe it or not, Jason Vargas, are all eligible for the postseason roster. Several players are also on the 60-day DL as of today, including Angel Pagan, Moises Alou, Tony Armas Jr., and Ambiorix Burgos.

In addition, the rules also say that if a player eligible for the postseason is injured, the team can request permission from the commissioner’s office to replace him with a player from the minor league system — as long as the player was on a minor league roster within the organization as of Aug. 31 and still with the organization at the end of the regular season. Also, an injured pitcher can only be replaced by another pitcher and a position player by another position player (though,the positions don’t have to match, so an outfielder can replace a second baseman, for example).

Due to these rules, these players would NOT be eligible for the postseason roster (if there IS a postseason for the Mets): Al Reyes, Jon Niese, Bobby Parnell, Argenis Reyes, Carlos Muniz, Eddie Kunz, Ruddy Lugo, Claudio Vargas, and Ricardo Rincon, among others. Perhaps none of the aforementioned would be valuable in a short series, but we don’t know what September will bring. For example, what if it turns out that Al Reyes can be a legitimate closer? What if Rincon recaptures the magic of being a lights-out LOOGY? What if Niese or Parnell fulfill the hype?

Most likely, if any of these players turns out to be a valuable asset, and the Mets make the playoffs, someone will turn up lame — either coincidentally or by design. I have a feeling, for example, that Duaner Sanchez could find himself disabled in the coming weeks — he simply wasn’t ready for the workload of a full season.

And speaking of the expanded roster — we’ll likely see new players arriving as early as tomorrow — I have two “sleeper”: Rincon and Amby Burgos. After seeing Rincon pitch in spring training, I couldn’t figure out how he didn’t make the roster. He spent the entire year on loan to a team in Mexico, and was quietly returned to the Mets a few days ago. If he pitched anything like he did in Port St. Lucie, the Mets may have a guy who can get out a tough lefty hitter in a key situation. And it’s no coincidence he was “hidden” in the Mexican League, where few advance scouts spend their summers — he’ll be something of a mystery to NL hitters over the last few weeks of the season.

Burgos is a longshot, and I haven’t seen him pitch since returning from Tommy John surgery. His numbers are not good in his rehab assignment in the lower levels of the minors, but that’s not necessarily an indicator — he could have been told to simply throw fastballs, stay away from sliders, and not worry about getting hit. If Burgos is anywhere near his pre-surgery velocity — which was in the triple digits — he could be a factor down the stretch. Again, a longshot, but that’s why he’s a “sleeper”.

Hat tip to “isuzudude” for suggesting this topic as a point of discussion. That said, please discuss ….

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. upson August 31, 2008 at 3:08 pm
    nice topic… however, I’m not quite sure whether you got all facts right. I’ve just checked the 40-man Mets roster online and it seems that A-Rey, Muniz, Luggo and Kunz are already there. Am I wrong?

    Nevertheless, we definitely need to make room for as many potentially helpful arms as possible. Niese, Parnell, Rincon, C.Vargas — all should get a chance. In fact, I never quite understood why Vargas was replaced by Muniz in the bullpen. We an get two spots on the roster by shifting El Duque and J.Vargas to 60-day DL. Also, provided Castro is OK, we do not need 4 catchers on the roster. So, put together, finding room for the new guys should not be that difficult.

    In any case, it will be interesting to see who will be available tomorrow in Milwaukee. I only hope Duaner will finally get some rest.
  2. isuzudude September 1, 2008 at 8:09 am
    Upson, you are correct that those players are on the 40-man roster, but they need to have been on the 25-man roster as of yesterday in order to be eligible for postseason play.

    Also, I don’t believe Claudio Vargas is Mets’ property anymore. His last appearance after being designated for assignment in late June was with AAA-New Orleans on August 3rd, and he hasn’t been heard from since. My guess is he either asked for and was granted his unconditional release, or suffered an injury that was never reported. Nevertheless, I agree with you in that I was suprised he was designated for assignment by the Mets in the first place. I thought he did an admirable job as the spot starting long reliever, and it was not a wise move risking losing him through waivers. Alas, with the emergence of Brian Stokes, the return of Nelson Figueroa, and the call-up of Jon Neise, hopefully the loss of Vargas will not come back to haunt us.

    In my opinion, however, the Mets should have made a move this weekend to at least get Al Reyes on the 25-man roster. Duaner Sanchez (knee) or Scott Scoeneweis (back) could easily have been DL-ed to make room for him, and it would have allowed him to be able to contribute if the Mets make it to the playoffs. It would be a huge blow to this team if Reyes emerges as a very reliable relief/set-up man during September, only to be forced to watch from the sidelines once the postseason roles around. Let’s hope this doesn’t come back to bite us in the rear-end.