Davey Johnson has not finalized the fringes of the Nationalsâ€™ playoff roster, at least not publicly, but today he gave a general idea of how the Nationals will look in their first series (assuming they avoid a mega collapse and donâ€™t win the NL East). Heâ€™ll carry four starters, and heâ€™ll use the extra roster spot for an eighth reliever.
The decision to use an extra reliever is not a philosophical choice for Johnson, but rather the right fit for this particular roster, in his mind.
â€śIt just depends on the team,â€ť Johnson said. â€śI donâ€™t have any platoon situations in there, and I donâ€™t have anybody Iâ€™m going to be pinch-hitting for. So I donâ€™t need a big bench. More times than not, you need that extra pitcher.â€ť
Christian Garcia seems like the clear choice to become the Nationalsâ€™ extra choice, given his often dominant performance since his call-up. As for the makeup of the bullpen, Johnson said, â€śit depends on the hot hands going in. Sometimes a guy might not be quite 100 percent, so you may pick another guy.â€ť
The construction of the bench and bullpen could depend on the opponent, too, Johnson said. â€śA lot of it is how we match up. Every club is different.â€ť Still, Johnson did not anticipate making any chances between series, should the Nationals advance.