Game 1 of the National League Championship Series is set to begin this evening at 7:07 pm CT, with Zack Wheeler taking the mound for the Phillies against Zac Gallen of the Diamondbacks. Both teams released their rosters earlier this morning.
Arizona made a single change from the NLDS, adding Slade Cecconi, an extra pitcher, in place of Jace Peterson, a left-handed bench bat. The D-backs are now carrying the maximum of 13 pitchers on their postseason roster. The NLCS is a seven-game series with only two scheduled off days, so it stands to reason that the Diamondbacks would like an extra arm. Furthermore, manager Torey Lovullo is likely planning a bullpen game for Game 4, and Cecconi, a starting pitching prospect, will provide additional depth for the ’pen. He could even start the game, although his manager would surely keep him on a short leash.
Cecconi struggled at Triple-A this year, posting a 6.11 ERA and giving up 24 home runs in 23 starts for the Reno Aces. However, he looked stronger during a handful of games for the big league club, pitching to a 4.33 ERA in 27 innings. The right-hander is the no. 14 prospect in the Diamondbacks system, per MLB Pipeline.
Peterson, meanwhile, didn’t get much work in either of Arizona’s first two playoff series. The veteran was a last-minute addition to the Wild Card roster after Jake McCarthy suffered an oblique injury, and he appeared in just two games of the NLDS, taking one plate appearance and playing a couple of innings at third base. After coming over from Oakland at the trade deadline, Peterson appeared at the hot corner in 35 of Arizona’s final 55 regular season games. However, Evan Longoria has taken over as the full-time third baseman in the playoffs.
Bryce Jarvis, who lost his roster spot to Kyle Nelson ahead of the NLDS, remains off the roster, as does Tommy Henry, who has been on the IL since July. Lovullo told reporters (including Alex Weiner of ArizonaSports.com) that Henry was a possibility to pitch in the NLCS, but evidently, the lefty isn’t quite ready to return to action.
The Phillies are running back the same roster they used against the Braves in the NLDS. The only somewhat surprising news is that first baseman Rhys Hoskins remains off the roster. Hoskins has not played since he tore his ACL in spring training. Still, manager Rob Thomson indicated on Sunday that the right-handed slugger could be ready to play, telling reporters (including Jon Morosi of MLB Network) that Hoskins was taking at-bats, running the bases, and essentially doing everything except for fielding ground balls. As Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports, Hoskins will continue his rehab in anticipation of a potential World Series appearance.
The full rosters…
- Right-handed pitchers: Seranthony Domínguez, Jeff Hoffman, Orion Kerkering, Craig Kimbrel, Michael Lorenzen, Aaron Nola, Taijuan Walker, Zack Wheeler
- Left-handed pitchers: José Alvarado, Cristopher Sánchez, Gregory Soto, Matt Strahm, Ranger Suárez
- Catchers: J.T. Realmuto, Garrett Stubbs
- Infielders: Alec Bohm, Bryce Harper, Edmundo Sosa, Bryson Stott, Trea Turner
- Outfielders: Nick Castellanos, Jake Cave, Brandon Marsh, Cristian Pache, Johan Rojas, Kyle Schwarber
- Right-handed pitchers: Miguel Castro, Slade Cecconi, Luis Frías, Zac Gallen, Kevin Ginkel, Merrill Kelly, Ryne Nelson, Brandon Pfaadt, Paul Sewald, Ryan Thompson
- Left-handed pitchers: Joe Mantiply, Kyle Nelson, Andrew Saalfrank
- Catchers: Jose Herrera, Gabriel Moreno
- Infielders: Jordan Lawlar, Evan Longoria, Ketel Marte, Geraldo Perdomo, Emmanuel Rivera, Pavin Smith, Christian Walker
- Outfielders: Corbin Carroll, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Tommy Pham, Alek Thomas