LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers held a workout at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday in preparation for the National League Division Series, but five absent players reduced the number of choices the team will have to make before submitting rosters on Friday morning before Game 1 that night at Dodger Stadium.
Roger Bernadina, Alex Guerrero, Erisbel Arruebarrena, Daniel Coulombe and Yimi Garcia were told on Sunday the would not be on the Dodgers' NLDS roster. Bernadina went home while the rest went to Camelback Ranch in Arizona to work out and stay in readiness mode should the Dodgers need an immediate replacement at some point.
"On the roster, we'll make some decisions going down to the wire. We'll make some calls today, the ones we're really sure of," manager Don Mattingly said on Tuesday. "The others we'll wait until we're sure."
Bench coach Tim Wallach was busy after the working trying to track down players to meet with Mattingly, presumably delivering more bad news. NLDS rosters are not due until the morning of Game 1, which in the Dodgers' case is Friday.
"The biggest decision is if we go with an extra player or an extra pitcher," Mattingly said. "It always comes down to, in the bullpen, a second lefty, a third lefty."
Mattingly would offer no other specifics on the roster. When asked if he would add rookie Joc Pederson to the roster, Mattingly abruptly said, "We'll talk about that if that happens."
When asked if he would take multiple lefties, Mattingly was similarly noncommittal, though that seems a foregone conclusion now. The real question might be whether the Dodgers will carry three left-handed pitchers or only two.
With that in mind, here is my guess of the Dodgers' NLDS roster with more than two days left before rosters are due:
Starting pitchers (4): Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dan Haren
Relief pitchers (7): Kenley Jansen, J.P. Howell, Brian Wilson, Pedro Baez, Paco Rodriguez, Brandon League, Jamey Wright
Catchers (2): A.J. Ellis, Drew Butera
Infielders (7): Adrian Gonzalez, Dee Gordon, Hanley Ramirez, Juan Uribe, Justin Turner, Miguel Rojas, Darwin Barney
Outfielders (5): Carl Crawford, Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Scott Van Slyke, Andre Ethier
I think the last spot comes down to Barney versus Scott Elbert. But even with the specter of facing left-handed batters Matt Adams, Matt Carpenter, Kolten Wong, Jon Jay or Oscar Taveras for St. Louis, I think the lure of a late-inning lock-down defensive infield with Rojas and Barney up the middle for the final two innings is too great for the team to pass up.