With spring training games finally underway, and nearing three weeks until opening day, we figured this podcast would be perfect for previewing the Dodgers’ opening roster for March 26 against the Giants.
With 26-player rosters now and a cap at 13 pitchers, the structure is pretty predictable. Another rule change for 2020, the three-batter minimum for relievers, figures to affect a trio of left-handers vying for a bullpen spot.
We make our roster predictions, and mix in a little spring training news as well on this week’s episode.
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Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger gives the Dodgers two former position player MVPs on the same team for the first time since 1977 (Steve Garvey, Boog Powell), and for the first time in the same lineup since July 31, 1972 (Frank Robinson, Maury Wills).
The first Dodger to win Most Valuable Player was Jake Daubert, who won what was then called the Chalmers Award in 1913, just the third year of the award. Daubert was an excellent defensive first baseman who was an early baseball labor leader, petitioning baseball owners for improved working conditions for players (including, among other things, one free uniform and shoes for every player.
The lefty-swinging Daubert won two batting titles with the Dodgers and had a 123 OPS+ and 27 WAR in his nine seasons with Brooklyn (1910-18), appearing in the first World Series in franchise history. He is fourth all-time in franchise history in triples, and still holds records for most sacrifice bunts in a career (NL), in a game, and a doubleheader.
Daubert reference links: SABR bio, Hall of Fame profile
Episode link (time: 1:21:43)