LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers finalized their 26-man roster for the National League Division Series, which includes Chris Taylor, Blake Treinen, and Dustin May after late-season injuries, but does not include Craig Kimbrel.
Taylor missed the last five regular season games with neck stiffness, and received a cortisone shot on October 3. But he gradually increased baseball activities, including full participation in Monday’s workout at Dodger Stadium, during which he faced left-handers Victor González and Justin Bruihl in a simulated game.
Blake Treinen missed four and a half months with a tear in his right shoulder capsule, then after returning in September pitched only two more games before landing back on the injured list with shoulder soreness. The right-hander is active again, with his next game more than a month after his last, which was September 5.
Kimbrel, who was removed from the closer role on September 23, did not make the roster.
Dustin May made the roster, deemed sufficiently ready after missing the final two weeks of the regular season on the injured list with lower back tightness. May, who had a 4.50 ERA in six starts after returning from Tommy John surgery, has been limited to simulated games for the last week or so, trying to build back up for the postseason.
“I think he’ll be built up to go three to four [innings], depending on efficiency,” Andrew Friedman said Friday. “Obviously when a guy has Tommy John, the number one thing to look out for is how quickly they can get back to regaining their stuff. And once you have that in place, execution is usually the last thing to come. The good thing about Dustin is, his whole career, he’s been able to execute.”
May pitched three innings in a simulated game on Sunday. The Dodgers weighed keeping May off the NLDS roster to continue to build up his arm potentially for the NLCS, but the lure of using him even in a reduced role won out.
“To have his arm talent in this series certainly makes a lot of sense, too,” manager Dave Roberts said Monday.
The final position player spot came down to Miguel Vargas and Hanser Alberto, with the rookie winning out.
“Vargas has the hit tool, the bat to ball, and the foot speed,” Roberts said Tuesday. “With our roster, we’ve got a lot of coverage infield-wise and outfield-wise, but to have somebody that can run like him, with the bat-to-ball to potentially drive in a run, we feel really comfortable with that.”
Trayce Thompson, who was acquired by the Dodgers on June 20, hit .268/.364/.537 with Los Angeles while his 153 wRC+ ranked 19th among major league hitters with at least 200 plate appearances during that time. This is the first postseason roster for Thompson, who was hurt in 2016 and in the minors for most of 2017 in his previous Dodgers stint.
Other playoff first-timers include Andrew Heaney, whose first playoff team was the 2021 Yankees, who designated him for assignment to clear a spot on their wild card roster for someone else. Early free agency gave Heaney a jump on the offseason, hastening his signing with the Dodgers in early November. Yency Almonte is also on his first postseason roster after a stellar 1.02 ERA in 35⅓ innings this season. Almonte was a rookie with the 2018 Rockies, but did not make their postseason rosters that season.
In addition to Heaney, the Dodgers have only one more left-hander in the bullpen during the series in Alex Vesia.
Dodgers NLDS roster
- Starting pitchers (4): Julio Urías, Clayton Kershaw, Tyler Anderson, Tony Gonsolin
- Right-handed relievers (7): Evan Phillips, Chris Martin, Tommy Kahnle, Yency Almonte, Brusdar Graterol, Blake Treinen, Dustin May
- Left-handed relievers (2): Alex Vesia, Andrew Heaney
- Catchers (2): Will Smith, Austin Barnes
- Infielders (5): Freddie Freeman, Gavin Lux, Trea Turner, Justin Turner, Max Muncy
- Outfielders (4): Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger, Trayce Thompson, Joey Gallo
- Infielder/outfielders (2): Chris Taylor, Miguel Vargas