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Connecticut players — and one team president — who could impact Major League Baseball’s postseason

P.J. Higgins is going to the playoffs!

Well, not exactly.

Higgins, the Wallingford product in his sixth season in the Chicago Cubs’ organization, has been named to the Cubs’ 40-man playoff pool. The Lyman Hall grad is one of four catchers named to the Cubs’ roster.

It is highly unlikely that Higgins will play in this postseason for the Cubs, who begin their NL Wild Card Series with Miami on Wednesday at 2 p.m. Teams’ active postseason rosters are limited to 28 players, and Higgins will not be on that roster to start the playoffs. It would take a couple of serious injuries to Cubs’ catchers Wilson Contreras and Victor Caratini for Higgins to get a crack at the active roster. Higgins, who has spent the past couple of months working out at the Cubs’ alternate training site in South Bend, Ind., would also have to be added to the team’s 40-man roster in order to play in the postseason.

Still, it says something about the organization’s belief in Higgins that he’s in the 40-man pool. Higgins, 27, hit .281 with 10 homers and 57 RBIs in 108 games between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa in 2019. He’s hit .272 over six seasons in the minors while switching from infielder, where he played almost exclusively at Old Dominion, to catcher.

Here’s a look at other players (and one front office type) with Connecticut ties who either will or could help their respective teams in this year’s playoffs:


It was another strong season for the former first-round pick out of UConn, hitting .265 with 14 homers and 32 RBIs in the wake of the Astros’ sign-stealing controversy. Springer, 31, will be a free agent after this season, and while the Astros will likely try hard to re-sign him, the Red Sox and Mets could come calling. Springer had a hit and an RBI in the Astros’ 4-1 win over the Twins in Game 1 on Tuesday.


The former Barlow High star went 2-2 with a 4.74 ERA this season and is expected to start Game 3 (if necessary) of the Rays-Blue Jays A.L. Wild Card Series. Morton was born in New Jersey, but his family moved to Trumbull when he was 3, then to Redding about 10 years later. He currently lives in Bradenton, Fla.


The former RHAM star had a tumultuous year, testing positive for COVID-19 in June, but wound up belting 16 home runs while hitting .276 to put himself in serious consideration for N.L. Comeback Player of the Year honors. The Dodgers begin their N.L. Wild Card Series with Milwaukee on Wednesday at 10 p.m.


The righthander struggled a bit after an impressive (2.34 ERA) rookie campaign, going 4-6 with a 4.74 ERA for the Tribe. Civale, whose parents hail from the Meriden area and whose brother, Nic, played at Quinnpiac, has made the Indians’ 28-man active roster for their A.L. Wild Card Series with the Yankees and will be used both as a long man out of the bullpen, as well as in high-leverage, one-out situations.


Casali, a Hearst Connecticut Media All-Stater in baseball and football at New Canaan High who’s in his seventh major-league season, and Tucker Barnhart will split catching duties in the postseason for the Reds, who begin their N.L. Wild Card series against Atlanta on Wednesday at noon.


The big righthander, back in the bigs after spending much of 2019 in Triple-A, made just two appearances out of the Reds’ bullpen this season, but has been named to the club’s 28-man postseason roster.


The lefty and former Mets’ first-round draft pick made the Blue Jays’ 40-man playoff pool, but is not on the 28-man active roster for their A.L. Wild Card Series against Tampa Bay. Kay struggled with a 5.14 ERA this season.


The former first-round draft pick struggled mightily (11.20 ERA) in just four starts this season, but figures to at last be in the Braves’ 40-man playoff pool, if not on their 28-man active roster.


The Amity High graduate and Indians’ team president is in his 22nd season in the club’s organization.


Please go to New Haven Register Sports to read full article.

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Please go to New Haven Register Sports to read full article.