The Sox have secured a playoff spot.
They have also secured home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Yet there's still a tough decision to be made -- who knows, I'd guess that it might have already been made -- and that is, which 25 guys should make the playoff roster?
If you were the person calling the shots in the White Sox organization, which 25 guys would you take with to the playoffs? And, why exactly would you take the guys you're choosing? This doesn't happen to be what you think will happen, rather, what you want to happen.
I'd guess that these following 20 guys are automatic, no doubt about it locks to make the team, so let's not even disuss the following players.
*Apparently, Don Cooper was on the radio saying that they didn't even discuss leaving Marte off the playoff roster. I agree with the decision, even though Marte has looked like crap for much of the season. If he can get in a one week groove, he'll help this bullpen. Whether or not that will happen, I don't know, but you've all seen how good Damaso Marte is when he's "on".
(Below is my take on the five remaining spots.)
So, there's five spots left. I assume that two will go to pitchers, i.e. Brandon McCarthy, Orlando Hernandez, and Luis Vizcaino.
Three spots go to a combination of these guys: Willie Harris, Timo Perez, Geoff Blum, Ross Gload, and Brian Anderson.
The position player decision is pretty easy to me, but I highly doubt that the White Sox organization would agree with my opinions. I'd go with Harris, Gload, and Anderson. Choosing these three, along with Ozuna and Widger already on the bench, you're covering all your bases. Anderson is arguably the best defensive outfielder on this team, and immediately becomes the number one right-handed power bat off the bench. Harris is the best defensive secondbaseman on the team, and becomes a late-inning speed threat off the bench. Finally, Ross Gload. The decision to keep Ross Gload on the playoff roster is easy. He'd immediately become the best bat off the bench, which, we're probably going to need eventually during the post-season (if we make it far enough).
The pitching decision is where it gets a little hazy. For one, I think Brandon McCarthy should be a lock. He's been the second best White Sox starter down the stretch, and if a Sox starting were to struggle early, you can hand the ball to Brandon knowing that you still have a chance to win the game.
Here's the tough part -- El Duque or Vizcaino? Vizcaino has rebounded from a rough start of the season, yet did you really ever feel comfortable in a tight spot with Luis on the bump? I mean, he did a good job for us, throwing two-three innings at a time in (usually) mop-up duties. But what about those close-and-late situations?
That's not to say El Duque has been better. In fact, Vizcaino has had more Pitching Win Shares than Hernandez in less innings pitched, 6.2 to 5.1.
But (and the fanboy in me arises) -- if either of these guys do get a chance to pitch, it will most likely be in a ROOGY situation (IOW, get one right-handed batter out). I know the stats don't back me up on this one -- Vizcaino has a 1.22 WHIP vs. righties as opposed to El Duque's 1.27 -- but I think I'd rather have El Duque, the guy who's supposed to be the high-pressure situation pitcher, put all of his concentration into one batter, instead of Vizcaino.
I know you're probably rolling your eyes at that last paragraph -- afterall, I pretty much have no statistical backup for my argument. But that's just the way I feel. I like El Duque, all the arm angles, all the different types of pitches -- rather than Vizcaino.
But, enough about what I think. Who deserves those final five spots, and why?