Pour one out for Curtis Granderson. On Tuesday, just ahead of the first game of the World Series, the Dodgers announced that the 36-year-old veteran of 14 seasons will not be part of their Fall Classic roster. As a result, Granderson, who was acquired by Los Angeles in August and played in both the Division Series and NLCS, will have to watch from the sidelines as the Dodgers try to win their first championship in 29 years—and his first ever.
It's no real surprise that Granderson won't be playing against the Astros, as he was terrible in spot duty for the Dodgers down the stretch, hitting .161/.288/.366 in 132 plate appearances. Despite that, Granderson got a playoff roster spot due to the Dodgers' need for a lefty bat off the bench, and with All-Star shortstop Corey Seager sidelined by a back sprain, he was given starts in the outfield in the NLCS, as regular centerfielder Chris Taylor was moved to fill Seager's place in the infield. But Granderson was even worse in the postseason, with one hit and eight strikeouts in 15 at-bats, and with Seager healthy, Taylor takes center back over, leaving Granderson without a place. Big NLCS performances from fellow southpaw Andre Ethier, Kiké Hernandez (who homered three times in the clinching Game 5) and Charlie Culberson (who hit .455 while picking up Seager's slack at short) also likely sealed Granderson's fate. He'll be replaced on the team by starter Brandon McCarthy, who will function as an extra arm out of the bullpen.
The numbers bear out manager Dave Roberts' decision, but it's still a bummer for Granderson, who has played in two World Series—2006 as a member of the Tigers and '15 with the Mets—but hasn't won a ring. And being left off the roster has to sting especially hard given that, at 36, Granderson is likely nearing the end of the line; back in July, he told the New York Post that he's "made peace" with the idea of retiring after the year's done. One of the game's truly likable players, it's a shame that this may be how it ends for Granderson, but maybe his Dodgers teammates can pick him up and send him out as a champion.