LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers announced their roster for the National League Division Series on Friday morning, and will go with 12 pitchers and 13 position players in the opening round against the Cardinals, one more pitcher than the team used in both of its playoff rounds in 2013.
It looks like pitcher Carlos Frias beat out infielder Darwin Barney for the final spot, with the Dodgers opting for an extra pitcher over a late-inning defensive replacement and/or pinch runner.
Frias, 24, has had quite a rise this season from non-roster invitee in spring training to swing man, though he figures to be used in relief, either in short or long roles during the playoffs. Frias had a 6.12 ERA in 15 games for the Dodgers, with 29 strikeouts and seven walks in 32 innings. In relief he had a 4.91 ERA with 25 strikeouts in 26 innings.
The Dodgers already have one late-inning defensive replacement in Miguel Rojas at shortstop.
Hanley Ramirez played 21 games at shortstop in September, and was removed early 19 times. Rojas filled in for him 16 of those 19 times, and in two of the other three games was playing at third base. Manager Don Mattingly said he planned to continue to sub for Ramirez late in games during the postseason.
"We're going to keep doing what we're doing. It seemed to be working for Hanley the best," Mattingly said last Friday.
Elbert beat out Paco Rodriguez for the second left-handed relief spot behind J.P. Howell, an unexpected turn after getting designated for assignment in July. Elbert returned to the Dodgers in September after missing two years thanks to three elbow surgeries.
"After the injury, we were a little uncomfortable with him finishing an inning and warming back up," Mattingly said. "Scotty, we felt more flexibility and felt like he was going to bounce back a little easier than Paco."
Pedro Baez has made the remarkable transition from terrible-hitting minor league third baseman to pitcher, and in just his second season on the mound has morphed into essentially a seventh-inning setup man for the Dodgers. In 20 games with the Dodgers in his rookie campaign Baez had a 2.63 ERA, 18 strikeouts and five walks in 24 innings.
Here is the Dodgers full NLDS roster:
Starting pitchers (4): Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dan Haren
Relief pitchers (8): Kenley Jansen, J.P. Howell, Brian Wilson, Pedro Baez, Carlos Frias, Brandon League, Jamey Wright
Catchers (2): A.J. Ellis, Drew Butera
Infielders (6): Adrian Gonzalez, Dee Gordon, Hanley Ramirez, Juan Uribe, Justin Turner, Miguel Rojas
Outfielders (5): Carl Crawford, Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Scott Van Slyke, Andre Ethier