The Indians announced their 25 man roster for tonight's one game play-off with the Rays this morning and there are a few surprises. As expected, the starting pitchers that would be unable to pitch in this game, Ubaldo Jimenez and Zach McAllister were left off the roster, since the winning team will be able to completely revamp their roster going into the series with Boston. In those spaces, the Indians will be using a fourth outfielder for the first time this season in Matt Carson and will also bring along super rookie, Jose Ramirez.
Those two players will be used to add a little more versatility to late inning maneuvering for Terry Francona. Now he can pinch run in the late innings without worrying about not having a defensive replacement. There is essentially no way either of these players will receive an at bat during the game, but both have been adept at running the bases so far and will allow Francona to use Jason Giambi at any point.
There were some surprises on the roster as well. Rich Hill and Chris Perez are being brought along, despite an almost complete assuredness that they will not pitch in this game. Perez has been removed as the closer and Justin Masterson named his replacement depending on the situation. The Indians never announced anything about Hill, but it should be obvious that he should not be used in any close situation and this game matters so much that the whole game should be considered close.
Hill's biggest problem has been the most important part about being a left handed match-up man, the first batter faced. He had 63 appearances during the regular season and allowed nine walks and 13 hits to the 63 first batters he face. No other reliever allowed more than five walks in this situation and no pitcher that had less than 70 appearances allowed more hits. Eleven of those 21 base runners eventually came around to score, giving him the highest ERA on the team against first batters. Of course it is very unlikely he will pitch in the game, but both him and Perez seem like wasted roster space.
Here's the Indians line-up for today's game:
CF Michael Bourn
1B Nick Swisher
2B Jason Kipnis
DH Carlos Santana
LF Michael Brantley
RF Ryan Raburn
SS Asdrubal Cabrera
C Yan Gomes
3B Lonnie Chisenhall