Opening Day is just a few days away. This Thursday, to be exact. With the start of the season drawing near, we’re close to finding out who will make the Dodgers opening 30-man roster.
For the most part, majority of the roster is already decided, but there are still a few question marks. How many relievers will the Dodgers carry? Who will they carry?
Blake and Eric gave predictions for who makes the cut, and they almost completely agreed. They had 29 of the same players. Blake has the final bullpen spot going to Brusdar Graterol, where Eric has it going to Dylan Floro.
Here’s a look at the roster breakdowns from each of them.
Dodgers opening day roster predictions
|C||Will Smith||Will Smith|
|C||Austin Barnes||Austin Barnes|
|1B||Max Muncy||Max Muncy|
|2B||Gavin Lux||Gavin Lux|
|3B||Justin Turner||Justin Turner|
|SS||Corey Seager||Corey Seager|
|1B/3B||Edwin Rios||Edwin Rios|
|LF||A.J. Pollock||A.J. Pollock|
|CF||Cody Bellinger||Cody Bellinger|
|RF||Mookie Betts||Mookie Betts|
|OF||Joc Pederson||Joc Pederson|
|IF/OF||Kiké Hernandez||Kiké Hernandez|
|IF/OF||Chris Taylor||Chris Taylor|
|1B/OF||Matt Beaty||Matt Beaty|
|OF/PR||Terrance Gore||Terrance Gore|
|SP||Clayton Kershaw||Clayton Kershaw|
|SP||Walker Buehler||Walker Buehler|
|SP||Julio Urias||Julio Urias|
|SP||Alex Wood||Alex Wood|
|SP||Ross Stripling||Ross Stripling|
|CL||Kenley Jansen||Kenley Jansen|
|RHP||Blake Treinen||Blake Treinen|
|RHP||Pedro Baez||Pedro Baez|
|RHP||Joe Kelly||Joe Kelly|
|RHP||A.J. Ramos||A.J. Ramos|
|RHP||Dustin May||Dustin May|
|LHP||Adam Kolarek||Adam Kolarek|
|LHP||Scott Alexander||Scott Alexander|
|LHP||Caleb Ferguson||Caleb Ferguson|
|RHP||Dylan Floro||Brusdar Graterol|
The Dodgers have a pretty set group of 14 position players, with Edwin Rios cementing a roster spot in summer camp. Dave Roberts said with rosters expanded from 26 to 30 players for the first two weeks they would probably add one position player (from the usual 13). Adding a specialist like speedster Terrance Gore into the mix would be a 15th position player and take away a reliever, but I think with 60% of the rotation built up to 6+ innings already the Dodgers can make do with a 10-man bullpen for now.
I think A.J. Ramos gets added to the roster from his minor league deal, and even though several mainstays (Pedro Baez, Joe Kelly) haven’t pitched much in games, Roberts keeps mentioning them as ready for opening day. Scott Alexander was one of those who hasn’t pitched in a game (he just reported to camp a week ago), though he might pitch on Monday or Tuesday, if he doesn’t instead throw a simulated inning or two. I think he makes it, giving the Dodgers bullpen three lefties with Adam Kolarek and Caleb Ferguson. The last reliever cut for me is Brusdar Graterol, though I could certainly see a situation in which he ends up on the team on Thursday.
Also, it’s important to remember that the opening day roster is only a snapshot of a single day of the reason, and that the active roster is a living thing that constantly changes throughout the year. The Dodgers will get contributions from several players not on their opening day roster, like Zach McKinstry, Tony Gonsolin, and others.
Much like what Eric said, the Dodgers have 14 position players that are pretty locked in stone and I don’t see any changes happening with those guys. Where things could get interesting is if the Dodgers decided to go with 15 position players, which is what we both have them doing. I think if they go they route, they choose Terrance Gore who is a difference-maker on the bases. His speed is crucial, and he’ll make a huge impact late in the game or in extra innings with the new rule of the runner starting on second base. If they don’t go that route, I could see Zach McKinstry getting the final spot, as his versatility makes him the perfect fit.
Moving to the pitching, this is where things got a little difficult. In regards to LHP, I have no clue what the Dodgers do. I believe Kolarek is the only guarantee, though Ferguson and Alexander are highly likely. However, I wouldn’t be shocked if one of them is left off. You need some lefties in your bullpen, so I got them going with those three. I really think Ramos has a chance to surprise people and make the cut. He’s a former All-Star closer who is fully recovered from Tommy John surgery, and I think he has a chance to be a great piece in the bullpen. However, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him not make the cut. As mentioned at the top of the piece, I gave my final spot to Graterol as opposed to Floro. Overall, I just think that Graterol has more upside, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Dodgers go with the veteran Floro and have Graterol get more work in at the alternate training site.