The Milwaukee Brewers will play the winner of the NL East in a five game series beginning on October 8. In setting a playoff roster for this series there are a few things to keep in mind:
1. This series starts on October 8 after the regular season ends on October 3. (I have heard there is something called a wildcard game that happens in between these dates, but it really is of no concern to the Brewers.) This means adequate time to rest and set the pitching rotation.
2. This is a five game series with games on October 8,9, 11, 12 and 14. That is two days on, one day off, two days on, one day off, then game five. The Brewers won't have a day when the top bullpen isn't available.
3. Playoff rosters are set by round. The Brewers get to reset their roster if (when) they make it past the first round.
Considering all of this, I anticipate a roster which includes more position players than this team has carried through the regular season.
Catcher: Narvaez, Pina. Maile
1B: Tellez, Vogelbach
3B: Escobar, Urias
OF: Yelich, Cain, Garcia, Bradley Jr., Taylor
SP: Burnes, Woodruff, Peralta, Lauer
Relief: Hader, Williams, Boxberger, Cousins, Suter, Ashby, Houser
I could see the use of an opener (Ashby, Houser, or Lauer) in a game in which Peralta or Lauer get most of the innings. I could see the game 4 starter be TBA through Wednesday and being used in the bullpen earlier in the series since the Brewers have options in Houser or Lauer for that fourth game starter. The term starter may be pretty loosely defined at times.
This leaves pitchers Sanchez, Anderson and Strickland off of the roster for this first round. Considering the rest prior to the beginning of the playoffs, and the scheduled days off, the Brewers shouldn't need more than seven bullpen arms.
Going with seven bullpen pitchers instead of eight allows for the Brewers to include Luke Maile on the roster. Maile has performed well when called upon and he adds left/right balance to the bench and provides for better coverage so the Brewers can freely double switch, pinch hit or pinch run for their catcher.