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Mattingly not tipping hand on postseason roster

Mattingly not tipping hand on postseason roster


SAN DIEGO -- Don Mattingly remains reluctant to talk about the tough cuts he'll be making for the postseason roster, but the Dodgers' manager said it will have "four starters for sure" and hinted at a total of 11 pitchers.

The Dodgers currently are traveling with 17 pitchers, including Chris Capuano, whose strained groin essentially puts him on the taxi squad for the first playoff series. It also includes fifth starter Edinson Volquez, emergency starter Stephen Fife and September callups Peter Moylan and Onelki Garcia.

Without naming names, Mattingly said management's discussions include whether there's a need for a long reliever, which the Dodgers really haven't had all season.

"You hope you don't need one," he said. "But look at Cincinnati last year. [Reds ace Johnny] Cueto pulls a groin in the first inning. Now what do you do? It's nice to have that. Is your fifth guy [Volquez] a bullpen [reliever] or is he a long man? You don't know which scenario pops up. You can't be ready for all of them."

The resurrection of former All-Star closers Brian Wilson and Carlos Marmol could make it difficult for the Dodgers to also keep Brandon League on the postseason roster, even though he opened the season as the club's closer with a fresh $22.5 million contract.

Mattingly will have a similar dilemma if all four outfielders -- Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford and Yasiel Puig -- are healthy at the same time, although they rarely are.

"There will be guys who probably won't be happy," Mattingly conceded. "Now is not the time to make friends. Everybody wants to play. Everybody wants to win and we'll do what's best for the entire 25. Everybody knows what's at stake. I hope it's about the team."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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