The Dodgers' opening day 25-man roster is pretty much set, but there are a few questions rolling around in my mind this morning, a little less than 48 hours away from the 8 a.m. Thursday deadline to set rosters.
What two players will be removed from the 40-man roster?
With our Venezuelan correspondent Ronald Belisario on the restricted list, the Dodgers have 39 players on the 40-man roster. However, they need to add non-roster invitees Aaron Miles, Mike MacDougal, and Lance Cormier to the roster, which means two players need to be removed. John Lindsey is one obvious candidate to be designated for assignment. But who will join him? Javy Guerra? Luis Vasquez? Someone else? For reference, the 40-man roster is here (now minus Belisario, of course).
My guess: Lindsey and Guerra get the boot
Who makes the team in Jay Gibbons' spot?
Gibbons is going to start the season on the disabled list with vision problems, joining the crowded rehab raft of five Dodgers. Will the Dodgers carry a sixth outfielder, as likely would have been the case if Gibbons were healthy, or will they add an eighth reliever? Keep in mind that this could be a temporary spot, as someone will have to be removed from the active roster on April 10, when Tim Redding (or perhaps John Ely) gets called up to start. Gibbons last played on March 25, so the earliest possible date he can return would also be April 10.
My guess: The Dodgers keep A.J. Ellis, using Hector Gimenez is a pinch-hitter, untethered by the role of backup catcher.
If another NRI takes Gibbons' place, who gets removed from the 40-man roster?
Since this is a temporary position, this seems like a long shot, but if someone like Gabe Kapler made the team in place of Gibbons, the Dodgers would have to make another 40-man roster move to make room. Keep in mind that if Redding is in fact the fifth starter -- and most signs point to this inevitability -- another player will need to be removed from the 40-man roster then as well.
My guess: When Redding gets called up on April 10, the Dodgers will designate Gimenez for assignment.
If you think this is fun, just wait until Jon Garland and Vicente Padilla come back later in April and those roster decisions will need to be made.