Behind the scenes - because manger Paul Molitor doesn't like talking about these things until they clinch something - there are some interesting discussions going on about the roster for the wild card game.
First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Here are three thoughts from LEN3 on some of the decisions they are mulling:
Will they take 10 or 11 pitchers to New York? Last year, both the Orioles and Blue Jays went with 10 pitchers and 15 position players for the wild card game. I was told this afternoon that they are thinking about taking 11 pitchers. I think this is determined on the make up of the bullpen. To me, why would you need 11 pitchers for one game? Especially if you take Dillon Gee and Tyler Duffey, each of whom could pitch multiple innings. And do you add Gibson or Berrios? Berrios has the liver arm, but he's used to taking his time to warm up as a starter. And will Gibson come out of the bullpen and throw that sinker for strikes? I would gamble some and take Berrios. If he enters the game, let him start an inning with no one on base. He'll be nasty.
How many lefties? It sounds like Neil Allen wants three lefty relievers to face the Yanks. That means Taylor Rogers and Buddy Boshers are locks. And I was told today that the third could come down to Adalberto Mejia vs. Gabriel Moya. That's right, Moya is getting some consideration at this point in the discussions. I would not trust Mejia to come in from the bullpen and throw strikes. Look at tonight. Six 2-0 counts. Only eight of 18 first pitch strikes. "I couldn't get it done to get the team to the postseason," he said. "But if the time comes and I get the opportunity to pitch in a postseason I'll be ready. Mentally, physically, I'll be ready." If that's my choice, I'd take Moya. He's supremely confident. And opponents are going to look at his delivery in bewilderment.
So, my stab at a 10-man staff for the wild card game (only)
Righties: Santana, Belisle, Hildenberger, Busenitz. Berrios, Gee, Duffey
Lefties: Rogers, Boshers, Moya.
Lastly: How about a five-man bench?
Here goes: Gimenez, Vargas, Adrianza, Granite, Garver. This way, you can pinch hit for the catcher late and have some cover. And the only other option is Niko Goodrum. If they take 11 pitches, they can't carry three catchers without being exposed elsewhere.