WASHINGTON -- Nationals manager Dusty Baker said it was tough to leave players such as Yusmeiro Petit, Ben Revere, Sean Burnett and Matt Belisle off the roster for the National League Division Series, which begins Friday against the Dodgers at Nationals Park (5:30 p.m. ET on FS1). But that doesn't mean those players will go home. They are expected to travel with the team to Los Angeles and help the young players get better prepared before postseason games.
Petit did not pitch well during the last month of the regular season, while Belisle has been dealing with injuries. There was a two-week stretch in September in which Belisle didn't pitch at all.
The Nationals already have three left-handers in the bullpen, and Burnett didn't fit in for the first round. Burnett had a 3.18 ERA in 10 games for Washington this season.
Revere has been dealing with oblique issues all year and wasn't able to hit for average. He lost his job to Trea Turner. Michael Taylor is also a better defender than Revere.
Baker said he was "messing with the media" when he said left-hander Gio Gonzalez could pitch in Game 2 of the NLDS. Baker said his plan was to start right-hander Tanner Roark all along.
"Well you know, we weren't debating that much. We were just kind of messing with you guys, to tell you the truth," Baker said.
Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.