Now that we have a post-season roster, the question turns to how Dusty will use it.Ã‚Â I took a quick look at DustyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s prior playoff series, to see how he used his bench.
1997 LDS (Swept by Marlins 0-3)
Baker used 12 position players, but wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t afraid to get away from guys whoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d played a lot during the regular season (JT Snow and Daryl Hamilton, specifically).
2000 LDS (Lost to Mets 1-3)
Used all 14 position players on his roster.Ã‚Â Pinch hit for position players five times in the series.Ã‚Â As in Ã¢â‚¬â„¢97, JT Snow played less than he did during the regular year.
2002 LDS (Beat Braves 3-2)
Dusty stuck with his horses, this time.Ã‚Â His starting eight played every inning, and got all but four of the non-pitcher ABs in the series.Ã‚Â He never even pinch hit for a starting pitcher Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the pinch-hitters only batted for relievers.Ã‚Â Talk about keeping your hands off the controls.
2002 LCS (Beat Cards 4-1)
Pretty much the same story.Ã‚Â Non-regulars got only nine ABs, three of which coming when Tom Goodwin replaced the 1-16 Reggie Sanders for game five.
2002 World Series (Lost to Angels 3-4)
Same deal.Ã‚Â The same eight guys started every game, with a rotation of three guys at DH for the games in Anaheim.Ã‚Â Reggie Sanders continued to struggle, and Dusty occasionally replaced him later in games with Tom Goodwin (who was worse).
2003 LDS (Beat Braves 3-2)
Dusty was perhaps more comfortable with his bench of ex-Giants (Ramon Martinez and Goodwin) and a catcher platoon of Damian Miller and Paul Bako and let Martinez get some time in for Alex Gonzalez at SS.Ã‚Â He found a way to get Randall Simon an AB in every game and one start at 1b against Greg Maddux.Ã‚Â Goodwin, Doug Glanville, and Troy OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Leary only pinch hit once apiece.
2003 NLCS (Lost to Marlins 3-4)
Other than lefty/righty platoons between Karros and Simon at 1b and Bako/Miller behind the plate, Dusty basically let his starters run with it.Ã‚Â He made three different double switches in an 11-inning game, but generally only pinch hit for the platoon guys and the pitchers.Ã‚Â Simon was the primary pinch-hitter when he wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t playing, and a combination of OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Leary and Goodwin as the next options.
There’s not a lot we can take a lot from this.Ã‚Â ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s no strong pattern Ã¢â‚¬â€œ each of these teams was different, and Dusty has had both strong and weak benches.Ã‚Â I think it shows that heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s patient with starting pitchers, and doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get too clever.Ã‚Â I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know that heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s had questions like he has with the Reds:Ã‚Â Does Gomes start in LF vs. Halladay and Oswalt?Ã‚Â Do you replace Gomes with Heisey, and/or Cabrera with Janish in the late innings?Ã‚Â Does Juan Francisco play?Ã‚Â Maybe if the series goes five games, but as much as Francisco reminds me of Randall Simon, thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s no way Dusty relies on Francisco like he did Simon in Ã¢â‚¬â„¢03.