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Dodgers make final spring roster moves, all but finalize opening day roster

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers announced a series of roster moves on Saturday, all but finalizing their opening day roster, with young players faring quite well in claiming several of the last few spots up for grabs.

The Dodgers technically had 39 players still in minor league camp, so a flurry of moves were needed to get down to the final 25 for the active roster.

David Aardsma, Mike Adams, Erik Bedard, Chad Gaudin, David Huff and Sergio Santos were assigned to minor league camp. Adam Liberatore, Chris Heisey, and Kiké Hernandez were optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

"We feel very strongly we sent down some major league players," said president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, "but the sign of a good team is to be able to do that."

The final four bullpen spots went to Paco Rodriguez, Yimi Garcia, Pedro Baez and Juan Nicasio. Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman revealed on Friday that J.P. Howell, Joel Peralta and Chris Hatcher had made the bullpen, and that "another lefty" would join them.

Rodriguez and Garcia are both 24, the converted third baseman Baez is 27, and Nicasio is 28. Asked last week if he expected so many young pitchers in his bullpen, manager Don Mattingly asked why not?

"What's wrong with that?" Mattingly asked. "Are those guys not allowed to pitch later in the game?"

Darwin Barney made the bench, though it is unclear how long he will retain that roster spot. With the club not needing a fifth starter until April 14, the Dodgers decided on carrying an extra position player until then. He beat out Kiké Hernandez for the final bench spot, and Hernandez, 23, took it in stride.

"They want me to play every day, so I'll go down there, play every day and do my thing," Hernandez said. "They said there just wasn't any room for me right now, so just be patient."

Brandon Beachy and Chris Withrow were already on the 60-day disabled list.

The Dodgers will place Kenley Jansen, Brandon League and Hyun-Jin Ryu on the 15-day disabled list to open the season on Sunday, when the roster is finalized, officially.

Opening day roster

Catchers (2): Yasmani Grandal, A.J. Ellis

Infielders (7): Adrian Gonzalez, Howie Kendrick, Jimmy Rollins, Juan Uribe, Justin Turner, Alex Guerrero, Darwin Barney

Outfielders (5): Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson, Carl Crawford, Scott Van Slyke, Andre Ethier

Starting pitchers (4): Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Brandon McCarthy, Brett Anderson

Relief pitchers (7): Chris Hatcher, Joel Peralta, J.P. Howell, Paco Rodriguez, Yimi Garcia, Pedro Baez, Juan Nicasio