Indians announce postseason roster
Laffey to work out of 'pen; Barfield offers speed off the bench
CLEVELAND -- The starting pitcher the Indians signed to a three-year, $14 million contract extension last summer isn't on their postseason roster. Nor is their No. 3 starter from Opening Day or the veteran they signed in the winter to be their regular left fielder.Of course, none of this was a surprise, as Cliff Lee, Jeremy Sowers and David Dellucci, be it through ineffectiveness or injury, lost their regular roles with the Tribe long ago. But the official announcement of the ALDS roster before Thursday's Game 1 against the Yankees was another telling sign of how this club has evolved over the course of the season. "It's a tough call with everybody," manager Eric Wedge said of the roster composition. "We have to go with where we are right now and who's been out there performing for us." The Indians decided on their postseason roster over the weekend in Kansas City, but kept it close to the vest all week. When the 10 a.m. ET deadline to submit the roster to the Commissioner's Office came Thursday, the Indians turned in a list that features utility infielder Chris Gomez, second baseman Josh Barfield, outfielders Jason Michaels and Trot Nixon, and catcher Kelly Shoppach in bench roles. Nixon, a veteran of five postseasons with the Red Sox, was the former everyday right fielder before Franklin Gutierrez took over in August. He could be used as a left-handed bat off the bench. "Trot's been a tremendous presence on this ballclub all year," Wedge said. "He has a great deal of postseason experience, and he knows these teams we're playing. He's a guy we can use as a left-handed bat off the bench, depending on how the game plays out." Dellucci also could have been considered as a left-handed bat. But he's only had three at-bats since tearing his hamstring in mid-June and sitting on the disabled list for two and a half months. "He's not at 100 percent yet," Wedge said. "There's always going to be disappointments when it comes to your postseason roster. There's no getting around it. David was just not to the point of being an option for us yet." Gomez is an option at any of the four infield spots, Michaels will likely spell Kenny Lofton in left field against left-handed starter Andy Pettitte in Game 2, and Shoppach would likely catch Paul Byrd in Game 4. Barfield, who had his everyday second base duties usurped by Asdrubal Cabrera in mid-August, is also on the roster as a potential pinch-runner or defensive replacement off the bench.
1. Grady Sizemore, CF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B
3. Travis Hafner, DH
4. Victor Martinez, C
5. Ryan Garko, 1B
6. Jhonny Peralta, SS
7. Kenny Lofton, LF
8. Franklin Gutierrez, RF
9. Casey Blake, 3B
Reserves (5): Josh Barfield, IF; Chris Gomez, IF; Jason Michaels, OF Trot Nixon, OF; Kelly Shoppach, C
Pitchers (11): Rafael Betancourt, Joe Borowski, Paul Byrd, Fausto Carmona Aaron Fultz, Aaron Laffey, Jensen Lewis, Tom Mastny, Rafael Perez, C.C. Sabathia, Jake Westbrook
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.