That possibility factored into the club's decision to remove left-handed reliever Royce Ring from the roster that was in place during the Mets' three-game sweep of the Dodgers in the NLDS. Ring was replaced by the defensively-gifted Anderson Hernandez. The rookie middle infielder not only provides a reliable glove off the bench but also allows Randolph to use Chris Woodward as a reserve outfielder. Woodward, who worked in the outfield on Tuesday, played infield for 90 percent of his innings in the regular season.
Hernandez was not on the roster for the NLDS, when the club carried 12 pitchers in the wake of a calf injury to Orlando Hernandez before Game 1 of the series. Ring was the last pitcher added. He was one of three pitchers not used against the Dodgers; Roberto Hernandez and Oliver Perez were the others.
Now, because the Cardinals have a predominantly right-handed-hitting starting lineup and bench -- outfielders Jim Edmonds, Chris Duncan and John Rodriguez are the lone left-handed hitters -- and because the two off-days scheduled for the NLCS will afford the bullpen time to rest, the need for a second left-handed setup man is less.
The club had considered carrying Mike DiFelice as a third catcher to make Ramon Castro more available to pinch-hit, but it decided against that move. Castro was the lone position player not to appear in the NLDS.
Mets NLCS roster
Pitchers (11): Chad Bradford, Pedro Feliciano, Tom Glavine, Aaron Heilman, Roberto Hernandez, John Maine, Guillermo Mota, Darren Oliver, Oliver Perez, Steve Trachsel, Billy Wagner.
Catchers (2): Paul Lo Duca, Ramon Castro.
Infielders (7): Carlos Delgado, Julio Franco, Anderson Hernandez, Jose Reyes, Jose Valentin, Chris Woodward, David Wright.
Outfielders (5): Carlos Beltran, Endy Chavez, Cliff Floyd, Shawn Green, Michael Tucker.