Expect the unexpected is the theme for CBS' reality show Big Brother, but it also should reign supreme in September and October for a major league baseball team. We are quickly closing in on August 31st; the deadline for a player to be added to the 40-man roster and be postseason eligible.
It has been a few years since Texas has made the postseason. A reminder come the start of the postseason every team will have a 26-man roster that they will name before every round. If a player gets injured in a series, he can only be replaced by someone that was on the 40-man roster at the August 31st deadline. It is very important to have depth on the active roster and usable depth on the 40-man roster. A good GM has to expect the unexpected and be ready to replace anybody between rounds. I want to look at four players that I believe could serve a role in the postseason and should be added to the 40-man roster.
One glove several positions player Josh Harrison
He was the most recent add to the minor leagues when he was signed on August 15th. Stephen Francis wrote about why the Rangers signed Harrison. I think he will be added to the active roster by the end of this month and Brad Miller will be DFA'd. Harrison is someone that can play multiple defensive positions and also someone that can be a late-game pinch hitter.
Harrison has been in the majors for 12 years going back to 2011. He was in the playoffs with the Pirates from 2013-2015. The offensive production has not been great this season. He has a .204 batting average on the season. He has a history of being a good offensive player as recently as two years ago when he hit .294. In the postseason a team never knows what situations might arise and a manager has to have a roster ready for any situation. Harrison would give Bochy that flexible player who can be played anywhere and also has postseason experience.
The bench right now is Josh Smith, Austin Hedges, and Robbie Grossman or J.P. Martinez. Two lefties, a righty, and a switch hitter. Harrison would give Bochy another right-handed hitter on the bench. I do not think Texas carries three catchers in the postseason. Harrison can easily replace Hedges on the roster. Experience and flexibility are the reasons why Harrison needs to be added to the 40-man roster.
Dominator of left-handed pitchers Davis Wendzel
It has been kind of an up and down season for Wendzel in 2023, but one positive for the former Baylor Bear is that he has been able to remain healthy. He has struggled with health issues throughout his career since being drafted in 2019. He has been at Round Rock all season and has good numbers. He also faces potentially being chosen in the Rule 5 draft if not added to the 40-man roster by December. I do think Texas will add him to the roster for a few reasons, but there are two that really stick out in Wendzel's favor. He like Harrison can play both the infield and outfield and he crushes left-handed pitching.
Wendzel since being drafted has played games at second, third, shortstop, and left field. He has proven adept at playing each of those positions. It is not his glove that they would be adding him for. It is his bat and primarily the way he dominates left-handed pitching. He has always hit left-handed pitching better than he does right-handed pitching. This season though Wendzel has taken it to a much-higher level. Wendzel in 2023 has a .337 batting average against lefties. He has 1.242 OPS against lefties as well as 11 home runs, 20 RBIs, and 21 walks. Specialized skills like this certainly help out a roster be ready for a variety of situations that could arise in the playoffs.
I do not know if Wendzel will find a spot on the roster in every round. Having that ability to call upon a hitter who excels against lefties would be good to have in a postseason series.