Don't Kill The Mellinger

The Royals will have a playoff roster, so here’s one man’s suggestion

By SAM MELLINGER

The Kansas City Star

James Shields
James Shields The Kansas City Star

I’m so happy for Royals fans today. So, so happy. A generation of frustration, rewarded.

And the best part is it’s all still possible. The Royals are one game behind the Tigers for the division championship. A tie would mean a 163rd game in Detroit on Monday. Short of that, one more win or one more Oakland loss would lock the AL Wild Card Game to Kansas City on Tuesday. What a party that would be.

Well, I’m not due at the ballpark for a few hours so I thought I’d try to figure out — wait for it — the Royals playoff roster. Keep in mind that teams can change as much of the roster as they want from round to round, so, for instance, the Royals could keep a few starting pitchers off the wild card roster in favor of relievers or position players.

But here’s the way I’d do it:

Rotation

James Shields

Danny Duffy

Yordano Ventura

Jeremy Guthrie

Bullpen

Francisely Bueno

Wade Davis

Brandon Finnegan

Jason Frasor

Kelvin Herrera

Greg Holland

Jason Vargas

Infielders and catchers

Billy Butler

Christian Colon

Alcides Escobar

Eric Hosmer

Omar Infante

Eric Kratz

Mike Moustakas

Sal Perez

Outfielders

Nori Aoki

Lorenzo Cain

Jarrod Dyson

Alex Gordon

Terrance Gore

Josh Willingham

Do it this way, and the first guys left off are Aaron Crow, Scott Downs, and Raul Ibanez. Gore, Colon and Bueno are the last ones on. I wouldn’t be surprised if Downs is on the roster, and wouldn’t be shocked at Crow or Ibanez. But Colon gives them infield flexibility (assuming he’s healthy), Bueno has been better against lefties this year than Downs, and Gore is a rare weapon as a pinch runner.

Guys, I just wrote a blog post about the Royals playoff roster.

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