IronPigs Roster Prediction: Playoff Edition

Drew Anderson Photo: Cheryl Pursell

[Note:  This article was started before Friday transactions were announced.  It has been edited to reflect that, but some vestiges may remain.]

The IronPigs are in new territory here.  They’re set to cruise into the playoffs after opening a double-digit lead in the International League North division.  No, nothing’s been clinched, but with a month to go, it sure looks favorable.

In years gone by, I’ve checked out of baseball in August when the team started to look more disinterested than I, and the ballpark food and atmosphere became undesirable.  This season, for the first time, I’m tempted to spend my time watching a fun lineup down in Reading while I wait for playoff baseball in Allentown.

But I digress.  Part of my concern at this juncture is what kind of craziness the Phillies are going to pull on us.  As you likely know, they are in the playoff hunt themselves.  It’s a young, talented roster down there at Broad and Pattison–the same guys who went to the playoffs as IronPigs, Fightins, Threshers and BlueClaws are now doing it on the biggest stage.  But it’s also a flawed roster with a rookie manager (whom I like, but) who needs depth down the stretch.

So, which players on the August roster will still be here in September when we need to win a playoff series or two?  First, in addition to the current roster, let’s take a look at possible candidates with a non-zero chance to contribute to the post-season in Allentown:

“40-Man Men”

These players are already on the 40-man roster and are easily called to South Philadelphia on September 1:

RHP Drew Anderson

RHP Enyel De Los Santos

RHP Mark Leiter, Jr

RHP Hector Neris

RHP Edubray Ramos

LHP Ranger Suarez

INF/OF Jesmuel Valentin

3B Mitch Walding

OF Aaron Altherr

RHP Yacksel Rios

RHP Jake Thompson

Discussion:  I think the Phillies will take just about everyone.  And the pitchers they don’t take could be shut down for innings limits.  Mitch Walding may lose his 40-man spot if the Phillies need it–and that could cost the IronPigs, too, should he leave or get traded.  Some managers don’t like to have too crowded of a clubhouse, but I sense that Kapler may like to have numbers and the flexibility to rest some players.  

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Dylan Cozens Photo: Cheryl Pursell

 

Already In Philly But:

OF Dylan Cozens

OF Roman Quinn

INF Trevor Plouffe (DFA)

LHP Zach Curtis (DFA)

C Andrew Knapp

INF Pedro Florimon (DL)

Discussion:  Any of these players could find their way back to the IronPigs, for various reasons.  It will be interesting to see if the recently DFA’d guys make it back, because Plouffe would be a boon, and Curtis is a veteran.  Some team with 40-man room, though, may snap them up to get a late-season look-see.  Let’s just hope it’s not a case where they end up on a playoff opponent.  

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Trevor Plouffe Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Wild Cards

INF Will Middlebrooks

C Wilson Ramos

RHP Steve Geltz

RHP Jose Tavares

RHP Jerad Eickhoff

Discussion:  I have no idea.  I just don’t want you to be surprised if these names pop up.  Middlebrooks broke his leg in spring training and hasn’t played, but remains on the IronPigs DL.  Wilson Ramos is the veteran catcher the Phillies traded for–if his balky hammy needs a rehab start or they want him to get some DH time, I could see him here for a game or two, but that would probably happen prior to the playoffs.  Geltz was suspended, now on the DL–I don’t know his status.  Tavares is pitching in games or BP in Clearwater and may return sooner rather than later–and we need starters both here and in Reading for August, I think.  Eickhoff continues to try to return from weird numbness in his hand.  He could be here as part of the rehab process.

 Jan Hernandez making a difficult catch against the center field wall. Photo: Steve Kiebach

 

The Bus From Baseballtown

The following players could be added following Reading’s season, and make their AAA debuts in the post-season.  We saw a bit of this kind of thing last season with players like Jacob Waguespack and Mitch Walding.

LHP Kyle Dohy

RHP Edgar Garcia

LHP JoJo Romero

LHP Josh Tols

RHP Tyler Viza

C’s Austin Bossart and Deivi Grullon

1B Derick Hall

DH Austin Listi

INF Heiker Meneses

3B Damek Tomscha

OF Adam Haseley

OF Jan Hernandez

Discussion:  There are others, of course.  These are the most likely, to my mind.  It probably won’t be more than three–a starter, a reliever or two, and an outfielder.  

Dean Anna Photo: Cheryl Pursell

“Kram’s Krew”

OK, so given the above, and the relative “unpredictableness” of this whole thing regarding player health, and the Phillies meddling…

Here are the guys I think we ride with as the base roster for the opening series versus the wild card team (could be Scranton, or Norfolk/Durham or Indy/Columbus/Toledo at this point.  We’ll get into that in a future post.)

Catchers (2)

I think we ride with the two guys who got us here.  There could be a rehab guest appearance or a AA promotion, but most likely we’ll have:

Logan Moore

Nick Rickles

First Base (2)

Joey Meneses

Matt McBride

Second Base (1)

Ryan Goins

Shortstop (2)

Dean Anna

Danny Espinosa

Third Base (2)

Mitch Walding

Zach Green

Outfield (4)

Jiandido Tromp

Collin Cowgill

Danny Ortiz

Adam Haseley

Starting Rotation (5)

LHP Cole Irvin

RHP Tom Eshelman

LHP Ranger Suarez

RHP Jose Tavares

RHP Tyler Viza

Relievers (7)

RHP Pedro Beato

RHP Steve Geltz

LHP Tyler Gilbert

LHP Tom Windle

RHP Alexis Rivero

RHP Ranfi Casimiro

LHP Kyle Dohy

Discussion:  So, that’s what I’ve got.  I could see Casimiro getting a start; he’s done well in spot opportunities.  Maybe Tavares doesn’t make it all the way back.  Maybe the Phillies don’t take absolutely everyone.  We’ll see, but I feel like we’ll still be relatively strong.  The big concern will be with the starting pitching, which has been one of our strongest units all season long.

See you in the playoffs,

@Kram207



Categories: CherylPursellsPhotos, Kram's Korner - From the Club Level, Lehigh Valley IronPigs

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