Updated Cubs Post-Season Roster
I posted something regarding the Cubs post-season roster options here at TCR last month, but here is the updated Cubs 2008 post-season roster eligibility list.
The 29 players on this list are automatically eligible to be included on any of the Cubs three post-season 25-man rosters (NLDS, NLCS, or World Series).
Any player on this list who is on the DL prior to the start of a post-season series can be replaced on the active roster by any player (regardless of position) who was in the Cubs organization as of midnight 8/31.
And any player on the list who is injured during a post-season series (NLDS, NLCS, or WS) can (with approval of the MLB Commissioner) be replaced on the active roster during that series by any player who was in the Cubs organization as of 8/31, as long as the player plays the same position as the injured player. If this were to happen, the injured player is ineligible to return to the active roster for the duration of the post-season, although the replacement player could be exchanged for a different player (regardless of position) who was in the Cubs organization as of 8/31 prior to the start of the next post-season series (NLCS or WS).
* bats or throws left
# bats both
* Neal Cotts
Chad Fox (placed on DL - 5/19)
Angel Guzman (reactivated from DL - 9/1)
* Rich Hill (placed on DL - 8/31)
Jon Lieber (reactivated from DL - 9/1)
* Ted Lilly
* Sean Marshall
* Mike Fontenot
* Kosuke Fukudome
* Daryle Ward
To keep maximum roster flexibility for the three post-season series, the Cubs will certainly keep C. Fox and R. Hill on the DL through the balance of the regular season. Doing this will allow the Cubs to add two players to their post-season roster who were not on the Cubs 25-man roster or 15-day or 60-day DL on 8/31 (such as Micah Hoffpauir and Michael Wuertz, for instance), exchanging them for Bob Howry and Jason Marquis (for example).
This is what the Cubs did last year, when they used three of their four available 8/31 roster exemptions (Angel Guzman, Roberto Novoa, Mark Prior and Angel Pagan were on the DL on 8/31/07 and remained on the DL through the balance of the 2007 season) to add Kevin Hart, Geovany Soto, and Ronny Cedeno to their NLDS roster (Sean Marshall, Henry Blanco, and Craig Monroe were dropped), even though Hart, Soto, and Cedeno were recalled from the minors in September.
Marshall, Blanco, and Monroe, plus Will Ohman and Sam Fuld (who, like Hart, Soto, and Cedeno, had been recalled from the minors in September) continued to travel with the Cubs during the NLDS, however, and any of the three could have been placed back on the 25-man roster for the NLCS or WS if the Cubs had managed to get there. (Adding Ohman and/or Fuld to the 2007 25-man NLCS or WS roster would have required the Cubs to use their fourth 8/31 roster exemption).
Because they were on the Cubs 15-day or 60-day DL on 8/31/08, adding Angel Guzman and/or Jon Lieber to the Cubs NLDS, NLCS, or WS roster would only require that a player who was on the Cubs 25-man roster as of midnight 8/31 (like Howry) be removed from the active roster to make room for Guzman or Lieber (although it's admittedly quite unlikely that Lieber will be added to the post-season roster)
The main problem with adding Guzman (who had Tommy John elbow-ligament transplant surgery a year ago) to the post-season roster is that he has yet to throw two days in a row. In fact, he has so far thrown (at most) once every third day, and while he probably could throw two or perhaps even three innings (tops) when he does pitch, not being able to pitch more frequently--especially if the Cubs go with an 11-man pitching staff throughout the post-season--makes adding Gooz to the Cubs post-season roster a bit problematic. Now, if Guzman can show during September that he can throw two days in row (or at least one inning every-other day), that changes everything.
The post-season rosters can be altered (tweaked) from series to series, in case the Cubs want to drop a LHP (maybe Neal Cotts) in favor of a RHP (perhaps Kevin Hart) for one series, and then maybe replace the RHP (Hart) with that same LHP (Cotts) or maybe even a different RHP or LHP in the next one.
This roster flexibility also would allow the Cubs to carry an extra postion player (like Hoffpauir or perhaps Felix Pie) in case they want to go with an 11-man pitching staff (four starters and seven relievers) in the NLDS, as they did last year.
It also would come in handy if the Cubs get to the World Series, since Hoffpauir would seem to be a good candidate to be at least the left-handed platoon DH (if not full-time DH). In fact, the Cubs could use their two 8/31 roster exemptions to add both Hoffpauir and a right-handed slugger like Jason Dubois (presuming he gets brought up from Iowa after the conclusion of the PCL playoffs) to possibly platoon at DH in the WS. (I believe Daryle Ward would most-likely be used as a one-time per game LHPH even in the World Series, mainly because he is such a slow runner).
I think the Cubs probably brought up Casey McGehee on 9/1 so that Piniella could get a look at him as a potential right-handed bat off the bench, but also because they had planned to add him to their 40-man roster post-2008 anyway. But if McGehee continues to look overmatched, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Dubois is added to the Cubs active MLB roster once the PCL playoffs are over, with the possibility that he could be added to the Cubs NLDS, NLCS, or (especially) the World Series roster (when a DH would be needed).