LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers 25-man roster for the National League Division Series will be officially announced probably later on Thursday, but the final details are beginning to take shape. Justin Ruggiano has been told he made the roster.
"It's really special. These kind of things don't happen every day," Ruggiano said. "You never know when you get a chance to go back."
Ruggiano was on the Rays in a reserve role in 2008 and 2011, his first two major league seasons outside of a brief call up in September 2007. But he didn't make the postseason roster in either season, instead going to the Rays complex in St. Petersburg to stay ready in case he was needed.
That call never came.
"The first two years I was in Tampa we went to the playoffs. We went from worst to first, then we were in the playoffs two years. That's what I thought the norm was," Ruggiano said. "Since then I haven't been in the postseason until this year. You never know when your next opportunity to go deep into the playoffs will come."
He doesn't have to wait for a call now. Ruggiano was acquired by the Dodgers from the Mariners on Aug. 31, and in September hit .291/.350/.618, with 49 of his 60 plate appearances coming against left-handed pitching. In his career Ruggiano is a .272/.336/.520 hitter against southpaws, and with the Dodgers he hit .333/.388/.667 with eight extra-base hits in limited duty.
The Mets will likely have two left-handed pitchers on their roster, with relief pitcher Jonathon Niese and either starter Steven Matz or reliever Sean Gilmartin.
It was quite a month for Ruggiano, and quite a change for the 33-year-old, who was sent outright to Triple-A Tacoma by the Mariners in June and wasn't even on the 40-man roster.
"How would I have seen this coming? I'm in Tacoma, I have the worst travel schedule that I've ever had in my whole life. My back hurt on the buses, my back hurt on the plane," Ruggiano said, smiling. "There's no way I could have ever seen this happening. It's kind of been a dream month."
With Ruggiano making it, coupled with Yasiel Puig telling reporters on Wednesday afternoon that he made the roster as well, there really isn't room for the Dodgers to carry eight relievers for the NLDS.
That means should Joel Peralta make it, it's just a matter of whose spot he would take from the group of Yimi Garcia, Pedro Baez and Juan Nicasio.
We have our answer.
Joel Peralta is in. Juan Nicasio is out. #Dodgers— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) October 8, 2015
The official NLDS rosters are due to MLB by 10 a.m. PT on Friday.