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Here's how the playoff rosters might look

September 23, 2019

The postseason picture is far from settled, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start thinking about what October could look like. Below is the fourth in a series of MLB.com's postseason roster predictions for the teams that have already punched their ticket as well as the likeliest contenders

The postseason picture is far from settled, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start thinking about what October could look like.

Below is the fourth in a series of MLB.com's postseason roster predictions for the teams that have already punched their ticket as well as the likeliest contenders still standing.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Yankees: Luis Severino and Giancarlo Stanton are back, and the Yankees expect Gary Sánchez (left groin strain) and Edwin Encarnación (left oblique strain) to be ready for the playoffs. The pitching staff remains in flux, however, with Dellin Betances suffering a partial tear of his left Achilles tendon in his 2019 debut and Domingo Germán being placed on administrative leave. More >

Astros: Houston clinched the American League West title and got Carlos Correa, Ryan Pressly and Brad Peacock back from the injured list last week. The biggest question mark for the Astros appears to be whether Wade Miley will be part of the postseason rotation. Miley had a 3.13 ERA over his first 27 starts this season but has posted a 14.73 mark in his past five starts while averaging less than 2 2/3 innings per game in that span. More >

Twins: It looks as though both Ehire Adrianza and Max Kepler could return from injuries in time for a possible playoff run, which leaves few questions on the offensive side of the ball. But with the September struggles of veterans Martin Pérez and Kyle Gibson, and the strong performances of youngsters Devin Smeltzer and Cody Stashak, the Twins suddenly have plenty to think about regarding the composition of their pitching staff. More >

Athletics: Rookie catcher Sean Murphy is a lock for the roster, as he has made quite the impact both on defense and offense in his short time in the Majors. The A's have historically liked to ride the hot hands, so rookie Seth Brown could get postseason starts at a corner outfield spot. Sean Manaea is quickly establishing himself as the favorite to start Game 1 of a potential AL Division Series, if not the AL Wild Card Game, as he has been dominant since returning from shoulder surgery. Blake Treinen (back) has been ruled out for the rest of the regular season and is uncertain for the playoffs, but prospects A.J. Puk and Jesus Luzardo could be valuable options out of the bullpen. More >

Rays: Tampa Bay has gotten healthier in recent weeks, with Tyler Glasnow, Blake Snell, Brandon Lowe and Yonny Chirinos returning from the injured list. If Lowe looks sharp in the remaining games and Eric Sogard recovers from a right foot ailment, the Rays could opt to leave Matt Duffy and his .636 OPS off the roster. More >

Indians: Although Cleveland suffered a big blow when Jason Kipnis’ MRI revealed a fractured hamate bone last Monday, the club received great news about Jose Ramírez just days later. The third baseman flew through his rehab after undergoing surgery on his fractured hamate bone on Aug. 26, allowing him to be activated off the injured list for the club’s final six games of the regular season. Brad Hand is back after missing time with left arm fatigue, and he will get tested over the final week of the season to see if he can still handle his role as the Indians' closer. Corey Kluber, however, is not expected to return from his strained left oblique unless the Tribe advances deep into the playoffs. More >

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Dodgers: Justin Turner returned from a sprained left ankle Saturday, and the Dodgers will spend the final week of the season trying to get a few more key players -- including Max Muncy (left quad tightness), Rich Hill (left knee soreness) and Joe Kelly (unspecified lower body issue) -- healthy enough for postseason play. If Hill and Kelly are good to go, the last spot in the bullpen could come down to rookies Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May. More >

Braves: Mike Foltynewicz wasn’t guaranteed a roster spot entering September. But now that he’s posted a 1.19 ERA over his past six starts, he’s essentially a lock to start one of the first three games of the National League Division Series. Ender Inciarte will likely be activated before Friday’s series opener in New York. To gain a roster spot, he will have to prove his hamstring is at least healthy and strong enough to handle serving as a late-inning defensive replacement and potential left-handed pinch-hitter. Austin Riley and Luke Jackson were valuable contributors earlier this season, but their recent struggles have put them on the bubble. More >

Cardinals: The Cardinals’ only health concern this week is Kolten Wong, who has a moderate left hamstring strain that he sustained Thursday running out a grounder. He hopes to make a return to the lineup by the final regular-season series, but only if that means he’s healthy for the playoffs. More >

Nationals: The biggest question for Washington is how much Kurt Suzuki will be able to contribute. The catcher is still working his way back from right elbow inflammation, though he has resumed throwing up to 60 feet and saw action as a pinch-hitter Saturday. Matt Adams (sprained AC joint in left shoulder) and Roenis Elias (right hamstring strain) are also on the mend. More >

Brewers: Milwaukee lost Christian Yelich for the year with a fractured right kneecap, but the club entered the final week of the regular season with a good chance to claim one of the two NL Wild Card spots. Keston Hiura and Brandon Woodruff are back from injuries, and each could play an important role in the postseason. Chase Anderson is throwing the ball too well in September to be left off the postseason roster for the second straight year. Brent Suter has made a strong case to be included as well, as he has allowed just one run in 14 1/3 innings since returning from Tommy John surgery. More >

Cubs: Craig Kimbrel (right elbow inflammation) and Addison Russell (concussion) are back from the injured list, Anthony Rizzo made a quick return from a left ankle sprain, and Javier Báez (hairline fracture in left thumb) could return to the starting lineup this week. But Kris Bryant exited Sunday's game with a right ankle sprain, and the Cubs lost their sixth straight game to fall further out of the NL Wild Card race. More >