I can hear the voice of former Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Mora in my head as I type. Playoffs?! Don' talk about playoffs! Well, we're going to talk about playoffs.
While it's still hard to believe, the Cincinnati Reds are in the playoff conversation. The team has been battling of late, and it would appear as though Cincinnati will be in the mix with the Arizona Diamondbacks, San Francisco Giants, and Miami Marlins for the final NL Wild Card spot.
Should the Reds actually make the postseason, not everyone currently on the team can be part of the playoff roster. Those rosters are limited to 26 players, and there are other limiting factors as well. Which players still have something to prove in order to show they deserve to be on the playoff roster?
1. Nick Martini still has to prove he deserves to be on the Reds playoff roster.
Nick Martini has come up with some clutch moments in a short period of time since joining the Cincinnati Reds roster. Signed to a minor league deal during the offseason, Martini spent almost the entire year in Triple-A until a boatload of injuries forced the Reds to select his contract back in August.
Martini made his presence felt right away with two significant home runs that helped lead the Reds to some much needed come-from-behind victories over the past few weeks. But do the Reds really need another left-handed bat coming off the bench in a three-game series?
Now, in all likelihood, if the Reds were to secure that final Wild Card spot in the National League, Cincinnati would head to Milwaukee for a three-game set with the Brewers who would likely trot out the trio of Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, and Freddy Peralta.
With all three starters being right-handed, perhaps David Bell would want the left-handed hitting Martini available. With Jake Fraley limited due to stress fracture, Bell could run out an all left-handed hitting outfield of Martini (LF), TJ Frield (CF), and Will Benson (RF).
The fact that he's a left-handed batter and has come up clutch this season could definitely bode well for Nick Martini. But the former Chicago Cubs outfielder still has something to prove with a meager .236 batting average and .393 OPS versus lefties this season.