The roster won't have to be submitted until the morning of Friday, Oct. 9, the first game of the series, but we have a pretty good idea at the candidates.
The big question revolves around Yasiel Puig, a no-doubt addition to the roster if he is healthy, but the outfielder is still on the disabled list nursing a right hamstring strain. The issue is whether Puig has time to be ready for the NLDS, when as of Tuesday he still hasn't played in the outfield at the Dodgers' facility at Camelback Ranch as of Tuesday, 10 days before the NLDS begins, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.
Puig's availability has been a question or a talking point almost daily for at least a week during manager Don Mattingly's pregame scrum with reporters, and as of now the general feeling is that there isn't enough time for Puig to be fully ready for the NLDS, but that the NLCS seems a more likely target, should the Dodgers advance.
In my guess of the Dodgers' NLDS roster, I am assuming that both Puig and fellow hamstrung rehab option Jose Peraza, who is the fastest player on the Dodgers roster and an excellent candidate should the Dodgers decide to add a pinch-running specialist, will be unavailable for the series against the Mets.
With that in mind, here is my guess at the Dodgers' NLDS roster:
Starting pitchers (4): Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Brett Anderson, Alex Wood
Relief pitchers (7): Kenley Jansen, Chris Hatcher, J.P. Howell, Luis Avilan, Juan Nicasio, Pedro Baez, Yimi Garcia
Catchers (2): Yasmani Grandal, A.J. Ellis
Infielders (6): Adrian Gonzalez, Howie Kendrick, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins
Outfielders (6): Carl Crawford, Kike Hernandez, Andre Ethier, Joc Pederson, Justin Ruggiano, Scott Van Slyke
Carlos Frias has a good shot at making the roster, especially since he can be used as a long man as well as short relief, but that might be more needed in the NLCS than the NLDS, since the Dodgers will likely (I'm guessing) use Kershaw on three-days rest in Game 4, allowing them to start Kershaw and Greinke (the latter on full rest in Game 5) four times if needed. That means Alex Wood (or Brett Anderson, but I'm thinking Wood) is the long man for the NLDS, lessening the need for Frias.
Jim Johnson's usage of late shows his diminished role in the bullpen. He was used once in a tie game in extra innings — and loaded the bases while recording two outs on Sept. 15 — but his other appearances of late have been low leverage when he entered the game — down five runs, down three, down three, down one, ahead five, down 10, down one, dating back to Sept. 9
Platoons have been a big part of the Dodgers' strategy all season, especially in the outfield, and I expect that to continue. The absence of Puig removes the need for Ruggiano and Van Slyke to fight for one spot. The Mets will probably have lefty Steven Matz on their NLDS roster either to start Game 4 or to relieve, per Marc Carig of New York Newsday, and southpaw relievers Sean Gilmartin and Eric O`Flaherty are key bullpen pieces for New York as well, especially Gilmartin, so expect Ruggiano and Van Slyke to see some at-bats, whether starting or not.