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Rangers to carry seven relievers in the ALDS

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Per various folks in the Twittersphere, Ron Washington has said that the Texas Rangers will carry seven relievers in the ALDS, rather than eight.

For the last week or so, the talk had been that the Rangers would have an eight man bullpen in the playoffs, but in the last couple of days, there had been hints that the Rangers might go with seven.

Seven relievers seemed to make the most sense to me, given that you're talking about a short series where you are likely going to be leaning most heavily on your late inning guys.  There simply aren't that many opportunities for the 7th and 8th men in the bullpen to get used in a five game series, and thus you're better off with the additional tactical flexibility that you get from an extra bench player.

Matt Treanor will be the third catcher, which will give Washington more flexibility to use both Yorvit Torrealba and Mike Napoli in the lineup at the same time, particularly with one of them at DH.  Napoli and Torrealba (or Treanor) will both almost certainly start against lefthanders, and possibly against righthanders, with Richard Durrett quoting Wash as saying, "Maybe, maybe not," when asked if Mitch Moreland would start against righthanded pitchers.

That leaves one bullpen spot still up in the air.