It turns out, any competition for the final position player roster spot has been already decided. James Outman will be on the opening day roster, manager Dave Roberts told reporters Thursday morning at Camelback Ranch.
Coupled with the expected but now stated news that non-roster invitee Jason Heyward will also make the team, the 13 position players who will be active for the Dodgers on March 30 is clear:
- Catchers (2): Will Smith, Austin Barnes
- Infielders (4): Freddie Freeman, Miguel Vargas, Miguel Rojas, Max Muncy
- Outfielders (5): Mookie Betts, Jayson Heyward, James Outman, David Peralta, Trayce Thompson
- Infielder/outfielder (1): Chris Taylor
- Designated hitter (1): J.D. Martinez
The Dodgers will need to open a 40-man roster spot for Heyward, but with Gavin Lux out for the year he can be placed on the 60-day injured list.
After Wednesday night’s roster cuts, which included infielder Yonny Hernández getting optioned to the minors, the Dodgers still have six other non-roster position players in camp: catcher Hunter Feduccia, outfielders Steven Duggar, Bradley Zimmer, and Drew Avans, plus infielders Luke Williams and Devin Mann. It makes the final six days of spring training mostly academic, at least on the position player side.
It will be the first opening day roster for Outman, who made a huge splash in his six days and four games in the majors last season, including a home run in his first major league at-bat. After getting sent down to Triple-A, Outman hit .333/.422/.720 the rest of the way, including two cycles in a five-day span for Oklahoma City.
This spring, Outman is hitting .268/.354/.512 with two home runs, two doubles, and a triple in 48 plate appearances, the latter one shy of Chris Taylor for the team lead. Outman on Thursday starts in centerfield, his 18th Cactus League game this spring, and 16th start. This is Outman’s seventh game this spring in center field, to go with five games in right, three in left, and three games as designated hitter.