SYDNEY -- The Dodgers finalized their roster for the opening series against the Diamondbacks in Australia on Friday night (Saturday in Sydney), trimming their active roster to 28 players.
Three of the 28 players - pitchers Zack Greinke, Dan Haren and Brandon League - have exempt status and didn't even make the trip to Australia. All three have been pitching in minor league games in Australia.
The biggest surprise - well, somewhat of a surprise anyway - was Tim Federowicz optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque in favor of Drew Butera, who is out of options. The Dodgers kept Alex Guerrero, who isn't starting the opener against a left-handed pitcher, at least for these opening two games.
The Dodgers placed outfielder Matt Kemp and pitchers Chad Billingsley and Josh Beckett on the disabled list retroactive to March 19, the earliest date possible for the Dodgers and Diamondbacks since they start the season earlier than everybody else.
The earliest they could be activated is for the home opener on April 4 against the Giants.
Kemp is recovering from offseason ankle surgery, and homered and doubled against White Sox Triple-A pitchers on Friday at Camelback Ranch, and told Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, "I'm getting my work in and getting ready for the season. I felt pretty good. Today was a good day."
Beckett has been dealing with a contusion in his right thumb and as fifth starter won't necessarily be needed by the Dodgers until as late as April 19 thanks to several early off days. Billingsley is recovering from Tommy John surgery and could be ready by early May. Billingsley faced Kemp in live batting practice on Friday morning at Camelback Ranch, wrote Sanchez, his first time facing a hitter since having surgery last April.
Carl Crawford was placed on paternity leave in anticipation of the birth of his child. He apparently ran off the field after just one at-bat in a minor league game on Friday (hat tip to @hologramsteven, who was watching in person at Camelback Ranch), so perhaps that baby will soon come.
To round out the roster, the Dodgers reassigned Ross Stripling, Miguel Rojas, Joc Pederson and Zach Lee to minor league camp.That brings the active total down from 37 players to 28. Here is the full Opening Day roster:
- Starting pitchers (3): Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-jin Ryu, Paul Maholm
- Relief pitchers (9): Kenley Jansen, Brian Wilson, Chris Perez, J.P. Howell, Paco Rodriguez, Jamey Wright, Jose Dominguez, Chris Withrow, Seth Rosin
- Catchers (2): A.J. Ellis, Drew Butera
- Infielders (7): Adrian Gonzalez, Justin Turner, Hanley Ramirez, Juan Uribe, Dee Gordon, Chone Figgins, Guerrero
- Outfielders (4): Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier, Scott Van Slyke, Mike Baxter
- Exempt list (3): Greinke, Haren, League
- Paternity leave (1): Crawford
- Disabled list (5): Kemp, Beckett, Billingsley, Scott Elbert (60-day), Onelki Garcia (60-day)