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Yasmani Grandal, Howie Kendrick to open season on DL

The home opener (April 12) seems the most likely return date for both Grandal and Kendrick.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

ANAHEIM -- Reporting from the Dodgers' fourth of five different cities in a seven-day span, and the final one that doesn't count for anything, we are getting closer to the finalization of the Dodgers' opening day roster. That news is expected after Saturday's game against the Angels, and among the moves will most likely have catcher Yasmani Grandal and infielder Howie Kendrick opening the year on the disabled list.

Grandal played in a minor league game in Arizona on Saturday, getting three or four at-bats. Kendrick hasn't yet appeared in a game for some time, but took batting practice, which represented a step forward for him.

"[Grandal] felt good, but right now we're looking at having him ready for the home opener. We've been cautious up to this point, and it just seems to make the most sense," manager Dave Roberts said. "Howie, as well."

Because it has been some time since either has played in a major league spring game — March 21 for Grandal and March 22 for Kendrick — the Dodgers can back date their DL stint the maximum amount, such that they could be ready as early as Saturday, April 9 if needed. But it sounds like the club will play it cautious and play for the home opener on Tuesday, April 12.

Roberts said the roster moves would be announced after Saturday's game, but with these DL moves there aren't many choices left. The Dodgers will open with at least nine players on the disabled list — Brandon McCarthy and Frankie Montas on the 60-day DL, Brett Anderson, Andre Ethier, Hyun-jin Ryu, Mike Bolsinger, Alex Guerrero, Yasmani Grandal and Howie Kendrick on the 15-day DL — leaving them only a couple of choices.

Austin Barnes will take Grandal's spot, and could stay even once Grandal gets back.

"It's something early on in camp we thought about," Roberts said. "Things always have a way of working themselves out, and depending on how the roster looks at that point and time we'll make that decision."

Ethier and Kendrick's two spots will be filled by two of Charlie Culberson, Trayce Thompson or Rob Segedin, with Anderson and Ethier ready for the 60-day DL should the team need roster space for one or both of the non-roster invitees remaining in camp.

The bullpen is down to Louis Coleman or Luis Avilan, with the choice really boiling down to whether the Dodgers want one or two left-handed relief pitchers.