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Some new Dodgers uniform numbers for 2023

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Los Angeles Dodgers visit the makeshift memorial in front of Monterey Park City Hall for the 11 victims that were killed at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio.
Dodgers infielder Miguel Vargas switched from number 71 that he wore during his major league debut season of 2022 to number 17 for 2023, because his birthday is November 17.
Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG

LOS ANGELES — One of the appeals of FanFest is seeing new Dodgers in their new uniforms for the first time, especially for folks who might have missed seeing some players on the “Dodgers Love LA” tour around the southland in the previous week.

Miguel Rojas wears number 11 to honor his late grandfather, and that number also represents his major league seasons at the end of 2024, the final guaranteed year of his new contract with Los Angeles.

Noah Syndergaard wore 34 with the Mets, but at his next three major league stops that number is retired, including Fernando Valenzuela finally getting his due from the Dodgers. Syndergaard did wear 34 with the Angels last year, with the blessing of the late Nick Adenhart’s family. After getting traded to the Phillies, who retired 34 for Roy Halladay, Syndergaard wore number 43. Syndergaard is wearing 43 with the Dodgers, as he said he would after signing in December.

Shelby Miller, who signed a one-year, $1.5-million deal in December, wore his number 18 jersey on Saturday. New 40-man additions Diego Cartaya (number 76) and Michael Busch (84) were at FanFest, too.

High-number returnees James Outman (77), Michael Grove (78), and Andre Jackson (94) wore those same uniforms on Saturday. But Miguel Vargas, who wore 71 in his debut season last year, switched to No. 17 for 2023. Why the switch?

“My birthday is November 17th,” Vargas said.

But my favorite uniform story from Saturday came from J.P. Feyereisen, the right-handed relief pitcher acquired from Tampa Bay on December 14. He is wearing number 45, but most notable on Saturday was the back of the jersey. It had his full name, “JP Feyereisen” on the back.

The Dodgers don’t have another Feyereisen, and there isn’t another Feyereisen in professional baseball, so there isn’t a need to distinguish between Feyereisens. With the Rays, Feyereisen wore only his last name on the jersey, so I asked him why the change in Los Angeles?

Turns out, it was just a mistake by the team in making the jersey for him to wear last week. It even caught Feyereisen off guard.

“I thought, ‘Is this a prank because I’m the new guy?’” Feyereisen said with a laugh.

Speaking of numbers, reliever Yency Almonte avoided salary arbitration by agreeing to terms on a one-year, $1.5-million contract with the Dodgers.

“I have my agents for that,” he said. “I just make sure — they tell me what the numbers are and it’s like okay, you know what we have to do.”

But the timing was interesting, to say the least. His deal with the Dodgers came on the January 13 exchange deadline. His wedding was the next day, so Almonte was a little preoccupied at the time.

“I got a call from my agent to tell me what happened, but I was at my rehearsal dinner,” Almonte explained. “So I stepped aside for a little bit, and then everyone was excited.

“It was a good weekend,” he added, with a smile.