Both the Cardinals and Padres have announced their NLDS rosters and while there are no major surprises, there are probably a few additions and omissions you may not have expected.
Starters (3): Kwang Hyun Kim (L), Adam Wainwright, Jack Flaherty
Relievers (10): Genesis Cabrera (L), Giovanny Gallegos, Austin Gomber (L), Ryan Helsley, Andrew Miller (L), Johan Oviedo, Daniel Ponce de Leon, Alex Reyes, Tyler Webb (L), Kodi Whitley
POSITION PLAYERS (15)
Catchers (3): Yadier Molina, Andrew Knizner, Matt Wieters (S)
Infielders (7): Matt Carpenter (L), Paul DeJong, Tommy Edman (S), Paul Goldschmidt, Brad Miller (L), Rangel Ravelo, Kolten Wong (L)
Outfielders (5): Harrison Bader, Dylan Carlson (S), Austin Dean, Dexter Fowler, Tyler O’Neill
*Junior Fernandez and Nabil Crismatt were ineligible for inclusion as I understand the way MLB has been interpreting the rules. Players are not optioned in late September in a normal season due to expanded rosters and the prohibition on optioning a player to a minor league clubs whose season is over. Typically a paperwork transaction has been conducted on the day following the end of the regular season to recall all players who had been optioned. But I have read reports from multiple beat writers saying that “x” player was included on the postseason roster, in part, because “y” player was optioned and was not eligible to return. It seems as though MLB has told clubs that if an optioned player would not have spent 10 days off of the active roster before the beginning of this series, then they were ineligible to be added to the postseason roster for this series. Similarly, by rule, players were required to be activated from the 10-day IL on the day followinig the regular season, regardless of whether those players had spent 10 days on the list. I am not sure if MLB is following the similar logic to the 10-day IL that they did to options. If they are, John Gant would also have been ineligible regardless of his health. Carlos Martinez has been sent home to the Dominican Republic and will not pitch in the playoffs.
*The changes to the roster from the last day of the Cards’ regular season were to remove Jake Woodford and Seth Elledge and to add Daniel Ponce de Leon and Andrew Knizner. It’s not surprising at all, that the Cards went down to 13 pitchers in a 3-game series, giving the club 10 relievers. Arguably, even that is overkill. In terms of the other options, Elledge was last on the righty reliever depth chart. Ryan Helsley was actually the Cards’ worst reliever this season by several metrics, but the Cards are giving him a pass based on his track record and stuff and because he caught COVID. The Cards chose to include both Daniel Ponce de Leon and Johan Oviedo instead of Jake Woodford for long relief protection. Woodford’s terrible HR/9 (3.00) in relief was surely a factor.
Austin Adams, Dan Altavilla, Zach Davies, Tim Hill (L), Pierce Johnson, Adrian Morejon (L). Chris Paddack, Emilio Pagan, Luis Patino, Drew Pomeranz (L), Garrett Richards, Trevor Rosenthal, Craig Stammen, Matt Strahm (L)
POSITION PLAYERS (14)
Catchers (3): Luis Campusano, Jason Castro (L), Austin Nola
Infielders (8): Jake Cronenworth (L), Greg Garcia (L), Eric Hosmer (L), Manny Machado, Jorge Mateo, Mitch Moreland (L), Jurickson Profar (S), Fernando Tatis, Jr.
Outfielders (3): Trent Grisham (L), Will Myers, Tommy Pham
*The big news, of course, is that neither Dinelson Lamet and Mike Clevinger, two of the Padres’ preferred starters for this series, are not on the roster for this round due to injuries sustained in the last week of the season. All we know for sure is that righty Chris Paddack will start Game 1. It is likely that Zach Davies will start Game 2. Garrett Richards has started 10 games for the Padres this year, and is an option for Game 3, along with lefty Adrian Morejon.
*The changes to the roster from the Padres’ roster as of the final date of the regular season were to add pitcher Luis Patino and third catcher Luis Campusano, who had been on the 10-day IL since September 6th with a sprained wrist. Those two players took the spots vacated by Clevinger and Lamet.