LOS ANGELES — We all obsess over the opening day roster, and with good reason since it is a tremendous honor to even make an active major league roster let alone one to start the season with all the pomp and circumstance of the first game of the year.
But the active roster is very much a living organism that will change often throughout the year. The opening day roster for practical purposes is just a snapshot of the 25-man roster for right now, and it will be amended early and often throughout this season.
Chris Taylor and Cody Bellinger both started 2017 in Triple-A Oklahoma City, but were called up for good within a few weeks. Taylor got the call up on April 19, and Bellinger six days later. Taylor (4.8) and Bellinger (4.2) finished fourth and fifth, respectively, on the Dodgers in Wins Above Replacement, with Bellinger earning National League Rookie of the Year honors while setting an NL rookie record with 39 home runs.
“This will be my first opening day,” Taylor said last week. “It’s exciting to get going and get the season started.”
Taylor and Bellinger are as good a reason as any not to freak out that Andrew Toles was optioned to the minors to start the year. He’ll contribute at some point.
Outside of Bellinger and Taylor, there are four other Dodgers on their first opening day roster.
Wilmer Font, who is out of options. played in the major leagues in 2012-13 with the Rangers then late in 2017 with the Dodgers, but this is his first opening day roster.
Kyle Farmer made his major league debut last season and now makes his first opening day roster.
Outside of Bellinger who is just 22 years old, these first-timers on opening day aren’t necessarily a young bunch. Taylor, Chargois, Farmer and Font are all 27, and Font turns 28 in May. Alexander is 28.