Padres stick with what works for NLCS roster

October 18th, 2022

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres unveiled their National League Championship Series roster on Tuesday, with no changes from the group that upset the Dodgers in a dramatic four-game Division Series.

That means three catchers remain on the roster -- even though Austin Nola has caught every inning this postseason and both Jorge Alfaro and Luis Campusano have yet to play. Both are viewed as useful pinch-hit options, but with the bottom of the Padres' lineup thriving, they simply haven't been needed thus far.

Then again, manager Bob Melvin alluded to the possibility that Alfaro might start one game in the series with the workload on Nola building up. That would likely come in Game 4, with Nola having caught Yu Darvish, Blake Snell and Joe Musgrove -- the team's 1-3 starters -- regularly down the stretch.

"It's a lot for him, too, and each one of these games, he's going home cooked," Melvin said. "He comes back invigorated. But it's getting to a point here where he's never caught this much."

On the pitching side of things, San Diego will be faced with a bit of a different challenge against a tough Phillies lineup in a seven-game series without any off-days scheduled from Games 3 through 7.

To that end, Melvin noted the benefits of beating the Dodgers in four and being able to align his rotation and rest his bullpen.

"In a seven-game series, especially when you have five in a row, you're going to have to have a little bit more patience potentially," Melvin said. "It's just a little bit of a different dynamic as far as that goes.

"It is nice to be able to line our pitching up and having two days off -- one we get a full day off, and then a workout. But this [Phillies] lineup tends to tax your pitchers regardless."

Here is the 26-man roster:

Starters (5): Right-handers Mike Clevinger, Yu Darvish and Joe Musgrove; left-handers Blake Snell and Sean Manaea

Relievers (8): Left-handers Josh Hader, Tim Hill and Adrian Morejon; right-handers Luis García, Pierce Johnson, Nick Martinez, Robert Suarez and Steven Wilson

Catchers (3): Jorge Alfaro, Luis Campusano and Austin Nola

Infielders (6): Josh Bell, Jake Cronenworth, Brandon Drury, Ha-Seong Kim, Manny Machado and Wil Myers

Outfielders (4): José Azocar, Trent Grisham, Jurickson Profar and Juan Soto