After playing coy throughout the week, Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker has at last released his 25-man active roster for the National League Division Series matchup against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
As expected, injured Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg and catcher Wilson Ramos were not included. Like their counterpart, Washington is carrying 14 position players and 11 pitchers for the NLDS.
Despite also battling injury over the final month of the regular season, both Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy are active for the best-of-five series. So too is Jayson Werth, who missed the final two games of the regular season due to back tightness.
After being named NL MMVP in 2015, Harper had a bit of a down year in 2016 as he batted .243/.373/.441 with 24 home runs and 86 RBIs. He is 1-for-15 with a home run and 10 strikeouts in his career against Clayton Kershaw, who gets the ball in Game 1.
Where Harper struggled this season, Murphy picked up the slacked. The second baseman put together an MVP campaign, hitting .347/.390/.595 with 25 home runs and 104 RBIs.
Murphy had an outstanding 2015 postseason with the New York Mets as he hit seven home runs in nine games in the NLDS and NLCS, three coming against the Dodgers and two off Kershaw.
Opposing Kershaw in Game 1 is Nationals ace Max Scherzer. He went 20-7 with a 2.96 ERA, 3.24 FIP and 0.97 WHIP while striking out a Major-League leading 284 batters.
Tanner Roark will start Game 2 for the Nationals, and Gio Gonzalez gets the ball in Game 3. Roark was 16-10 with a 2.83 ERA, 3.79 FIP and 1.17 WHIP in 34 games (33 starts) this season. Gonzalez was 11-11 with a 4.57 ERA, 3.76 FIP and 1.34 WHIP in 32 starts.
Baker elected to go with three left-handed relievers in his bullpen in Matt Grace, Oliver Perez and Marc Rzepczynski.
At the top of the Nationals lineup will be rookie Trea Turner. Since being called up at beginning of July, Turner hit .342/.370/.567 with 13 home runs, 40 RBIs and 53 runs scored. His 33 stolen bases led the NL during that time span.
Former Dodgers Chris Heisey and Clint Robinson are active for the postseason as bench players. Listed alphabetically in each subgroup, below is a complete breakdown of Nationals 25-man roster for 2016 NLDS:
Starting pitchers (4): Gio Gonzalez, Tanner Roark, Joe Ross, Max Scherzer
Relief pitchers (7): Shawn Kelley, Reynaldo Lopez, Mark Melancon, Oliver Perez, Mark Rzepczynski, Sammy Solis, Blake Treinen
Catchers (2): Jose Lobaton, Pedro Severino
Infielders (7): Wilmer Difo, Stephen Drew, Danny Espinosa, Daniel Murphy, Anthony Rendon, Clint Robinson, Ryan Zimmerman
Outfielders (5): Bryce Harper, Chris Heisey, Michael Taylor, Trea Turner, Jayson Werth