The final week of the MLB regular season is here, which means the playoffs are about to begin. With a five-game lead in the NL Wild Card standings and only six games to go, the Phillies are on the brink of clinching a postseason berth for the second year in a row.
Assuming they lock up a playoff spot in the next few days, they can then start thinking about which players they want to keep on their postseason roster. After playing with a 28-man roster in September, Philadelphia will need to cut its roster down to 26 spots for the playoffs — only 13 of which can be used on pitchers.
With that in mind, here are three Phillies players who don’t belong on the postseason roster.
3 Phillies Who Don’t Belong on Playoff Roster
1. Jake Cave
Cave was an offseason depth pickup by Philadelphia with the expectation that he could be the team’s fourth outfielder. He showed promise earlier in his career with the Minnesota Twins, hitting 21 homers with 70 RBIs and a .795 OPS in 163 games over his first two seasons, but his production has tailed off since then.
The Phillies may have hoped that a move to the more hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park would help rejuvenate Cave’s bat, but it hasn’t happened. Through 60 games, the 30-year-old outfielder is hitting just .225/.281/.373 (77 OPS+) and has been worth 0.2 wins below replacement, according to Baseball-Reference.
I could see an argument for Cave making the roster if he had good platoon splits, but those aren’t great either. He’s been better against righties, but a .241/.292/.411 slash line still isn’t anything to write home about, especially for someone who doesn’t play a premium position.
Cave is just okay on the bases and in the field, too, so he’s not really bringing much to the table. He’s also been a non-factor in the playoffs, going 1-for-5 with 3 strikeouts.
This is the classic case of a guy who helps you get through a 162-game season, but once you get to the playoffs there isn’t much use for him.