Dan Johnson’s game-tying homer Wednesday saved the Rays’ season, but it didn’t land him a spot on the playoff roster.
Instead the Rays opted to keep three catchers and utility man Elliot Johnson over Dan Johnson and Justin Ruggiano.
Jeff Niemann is also absent from the playoff roster despite going 11-7 with a 4.06 ERA in 23 starts and the Rays chose J.P. Howell over Cesar Ramos as a left-hander for the bullpen.
Tampa Bay also announced that Wade Davis, who started 29 games and logged 184 innings, will work out of the bullpen. Matt Moore, who’s been in the majors for two weeks, will start Game 1 against Texas.
Freddie Freeman‘s elbow began barking in the second half of the season and he was a shadow of himself in the month of September. The Braves rested him for half a minute in the season’s final week but he still played 158 games in 2019. They said he was good to go for the NLDS but he was clearly limited, going 4-for-22 in the Braves’ series loss to the Cardinals.
Today the Braves announced that Freeman underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow on Wednesday. The team said today that the procedure involved the removal of three fragmented loose bodies and the cleaning up of multiple bone spur formations.
It’s not clear if more rest down the stretch would’ve made a difference for him — and it’s not clear that the Braves had options at first base for the postseason that were substantially better than even a limited Freeman — but it’s clear that not having Freeman feeling like himself in the heart of the order was a problem.
Freeman is expected to be good-to-go for spring training.