With just four spots on a theoretical bench, you would think that it would be easier than putting together a nine-man lineup. Turns out, that’s not the case at all when you’re trying to sort through 10 years of 25-man rosters to pick four players.
Because this is more of an exercise of who performed the best rather than me trying to build an ideal team, that did help me to speed things up a bit. I decided to go with a transitional bench that included a back-up catcher, infielder, outfielder, and then the “best of the rest” for the fourth spot. Again, this isn’t a scientific formula being used here either.
Here’s what I came up with, and feel free to debate it until you’re blue in the face.
There’s a good argument that I should have put Pillar in the starting lineup based on WAR, but I didn’t feel that he hits enough to be a starter, and I told you at the beginning that there were no hard and fast rules being used to make this roster. He’d be there as a late-inning defensive replacement and pinch runner, and can obviously cover all three outfield positions.
The infield picture would be pretty full, but I chose to carry Tulowitzki and Reyes, who were both legitimately beat out by Escobar for this exercise, if you ask me. They would be a little redundant, but you could probably start either of them at second base in this fictional baseball universe and slide Travis to the bench as well.
As for Arencibia, the numbers say that this spot should actually go to John Buck from the 2010 season, but I went with Arencibia for a few different reasons (again, the no real rules thing). With Martin as the starter, Arencibia wouldn’t have to be relied on for his defence, and could just start a couple times a week and try to hit home runs. That was his best skill during his short big league career anyway, so he’s the back-up catcher on my team.
I considered several others like Melky Cabrera, Adam Lind, Rajai Davis, and several players from the 2019 team, but these four were what I ultimately went with. That said, you could get 10 different people to do this exercise and you might get 10 different 4-man benches.