In advance of Tuesday’s Game 1, the Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies have settled on the 26 players who’ll represent them in the 2023 NL Wild Card Series. Barring injuries, these are the rosters tasked with getting them to the next round.
Pitchers (12): RHP Huascar Brazoban, RHP Edward Cabrera, RHP JT Chargois, LHP Braxton Garrett (Game 2 SP), LHP Jesús Luzardo (Game 1 SP), LHP Andrew Nardi, LHP Steven Okert, LHP A.J. Puk, RHP David Robertson, LHP Tanner Scott, RHP George Soriano and LHP Ryan Weathers
The only difference between the final roster and what we projected is the inclusion of Weathers over Johnny Cueto. Weathers just threw 99 pitches in Sunday’s series finale, ruling him out for at least Game 1 if not Game 2 as well, while Cueto is fully rested and brings ample postseason experience.
After showing flashes of his former self in July upon returning from the injured list, Cueto quietly sucked for the final two months, most notably allowing 13 home runs in 36 ⅓ innings. He also had a nightmare inning against this Phillies lineup on September 9, sweating his way through 50 pitches. Perhaps that memory was fresh in the mind of Marlins decision-makers.
Weathers is the youngest player on Miami’s roster for this series (turns 24 in December).
There was never a doubt that Arraez (left ankle sprain) would make the roster. The question is how close is he to full strength and will he be able to play a full nine innings in the field.
I want to highlight Bell because of his fascinating history against Philly’s probable starting pitchers. He’s got incredible numbers off of Wheeler (.323/.364/.645 in 33 PA) and incredibly bad ones off of Nola (.160/.192/.320 in 26 PA).
Pitchers (12): LHP José Alvarado, RHP Seranthony Domínguez, RHP Jeff Hoffman, RHP Orion Kerkering, RHP Craig Kimbrel, RHP Aaron Nola (Game 2 SP), LHP Cristopher Sánchez, LHP Gregory Soto, LHP Matt Strahm, LHP Ranger Suárez, RHP Taijuan Walker and RHP Zack Wheeler (Game 1 SP)
The most notable omission is right-hander Michael Lorenzen, the All-Star trade deadline pick-up. He shoved against the Marlins in his Phillies debut, then tossed a no-hitter in his next start. After that, however, Lorenzen posted an 8.01 earned run average (30.1 IP) and ultimately shifted to a relief role.
Every player here has some head-to-head history playing against the Marlins with the exception of rookies Kerkering and Wilson. Kerkering is a 2022 draft pick who ascended through the Phillies organization rapidly, leaning heavily on a nasty sweeper. It has accounted for 85% of his total pitches since debuting last month. Wilson had a 31 HR/32 SB season in Triple-A (116 wRC+).
Photo courtesy of Miami Marlins