Floyd on NLCS roster
Outfielder passes Randolph's test; backup Hernandez added
NEW YORK -- The Mets, who often speak of playing aggressively and basing decisions on what can go right rather than what might go wrong, have established a roster for the National League Championship Series that reflects that philosophy. Not only did they include Cliff Floyd on the 25-player roster they submitted to MLB on Wednesday morning, they removed a pitcher as well.
Because of his strained and sore left Achilles tendon, Floyd had been considered an unlikely inclusion on the roster as late as Tuesday afternoon, when he appeared to favor his leg while walking through the clubhouse before, during and after the off-day workout. But he passed the test manager Willie Randolph administered late Tuesday, chasing fly balls in the outfield with what the Mets considered surprisingly little trouble.
The Mets incur something of a risk in this situation because rosters may not be revised during a postseason series. If Floyd were lost in Game 1, for instance, they would play the remainder of the series with 24 rather than 25 players.
That possibility factored into the club's decision to remove left-handed reliever Royce Ring from the roster that was in place during the Mets' three-game sweep of the Dodgers in the NLDS. Ring was replaced by the defensively-gifted Anderson Hernandez. The rookie middle infielder not only provides a reliable glove off the bench but also allows Randolph to use Chris Woodward as a reserve outfielder. Woodward, who worked in the outfield on Tuesday, played infield for 90 percent of his innings in the regular season.
Hernandez was not on the roster for the NLDS, when the club carried 12 pitchers in the wake of a calf injury to Orlando Hernandez before Game 1 of the series. Ring was the last pitcher added. He was one of three pitchers not used against the Dodgers; Roberto Hernandez and Oliver Perez were the others.
Now, because the Cardinals have a predominantly right-handed-hitting starting lineup and bench -- outfielders Jim Edmonds, Chris Duncan and John Rodriguez are the lone left-handed hitters -- and because the two off-days scheduled for the NLCS will afford the bullpen time to rest, the need for a second left-handed setup man is less.
The club had considered carrying Mike DiFelice as a third catcher to make Ramon Castro more available to pinch-hit, but it decided against that move. Castro was the lone position player not to appear in the NLDS.
Mets NLCS roster
Pitchers (11): Chad Bradford, Pedro Feliciano, Tom Glavine, Aaron Heilman, Roberto Hernandez, John Maine, Guillermo Mota, Darren Oliver, Oliver Perez, Steve Trachsel, Billy Wagner.
Catchers (2): Paul Lo Duca, Ramon Castro.
Infielders (7): Carlos Delgado, Julio Franco, Anderson Hernandez, Jose Reyes, Jose Valentin, Chris Woodward, David Wright.
Outfielders (5): Carlos Beltran, Endy Chavez, Cliff Floyd, Shawn Green, Michael Tucker.
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.