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Decision time nearing for Trayce Thompson & the Dodgers

MLB: Spring Training-Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

ANAHEIM — The Dodgers are down to only a couple of decisions to make for their opening day roster, with Trayce Thompson one of four players on the bubble fighting for two spots.

Starting lineups

Pos Dodgers Pos Angels
Pos Dodgers Pos Angels
CF Taylor 2B Kinsler
SS Seager (L) CF Trout
RF Puig LF Upton
1B Bellinger (L) 1B Pujols
DH Kemp RF Calhoun (L)
C Grandal (S) 3B Cozart
LF Pederson (L) DH Valbuena (S)
3B Forsythe SS Simmons
2B Hernandez C Maldonado
Time: 6:07 p.m. PT | Angel Stadium TV: SportsNet LA, Fox Sports West, MLB Network

Carrying eight relievers allows the Dodgers to keep Wilmer Font, who is out of minor league options, on the pitching side. It also leaves basically two roster decisions for the Dodgers: one of Joc Pederson or Andrew Toles for the left-handed outfield role, and one of Thompson or versatile catcher Kyle Farmer for the final bench spot. Thompson is the only one of those four position players out of options.

“With Trayce we have a tough decision being out of options,” manager Dave Roberts said. “It’s tough. He’s handled it as good as anyone could handle it. But to not have clarity on your fate, that’s tough for any player.”

Thompson started in right field on Saturday and went 1-for-4. This spring he is hitting .273/.289/.386 with a home run, two doubles, one walk and 13 strikeouts in 45 plate appearances. He has played in 18 games though has started just nine times.

“When you’re not starting every day, it’s tough on anybody,” Roberts said. “With the long levers in his swing and getting that timing synced up, it hasn’t really been there all spring. But his work and preparation are at the top of the list.”

Thompson was acquired from the White Sox in a three-team trade in December 2015 and hit .225/.302/.436 with 13 home runs while playing all three outfield positions in half a season for the Dodgers in 2016 before breaking his back. He struggled mightily in 2017, getting off to an 0-for-38 and 1-for-56 start, and hit just .201/.262/.351 in 424 plate appearances in the majors and minors combined in a season he called “a terrible mix of everything.”

Roberts said he plans to play Thompson in all three Freeway Series games against the Angels, with final rosters due Wednesday.

Game info

Dodgers at Angels

Time: 6:07 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA, Fox Sports West, MLB Network

Radio: KLAC 570

Streaming: MLBtv