We are still six days from opening day, but the Dodgers roster appears set. Things became clearer on Friday afternoon, when the Dodgers optioned pitchers Michael Grove and Victor González.
Grove getting sent down means Ryan Pepiot is the fifth starter, winning the competition that opened up after Tony Gonsolin sprained his left ankle. Pepiot had a 3.29 in five Cactus League starts, striking out 19 (one third of his batters faced) with five walks in 13⅔ innings.
#Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said it was a tough decision between Ryan Pepiot and Michael Grove, but Pepiot ultimately "outperformed" and won the job.— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) March 24, 2023
That means Pepiot’s first start this season will come Monday, April 3 against the Rockies at Dodger Stadium.
Earlier Friday, manager Dave Roberts revealed the order of the rotation. Julio Urías will make his first career opening day start on Thursday against the Diamondbacks, followed by Dustin May, Clayton Kershaw, then Noah Syndergaard to finish out the four-game series.
After Friday’s game, Roberts also told reporters that Andre Jackson made the roster as the long-man, taking the final bullpen spot.
Dave Roberts also said Andre Jackson will make the team in the bullpen. He'll serve as the long reliever— Jack Harris (@Jack_A_Harris) March 24, 2023
Dave Roberts confirms Andre Jackson will open the season with #Dodgers. So bullpen will be Phillips, Graterol, Vesia, Almonte, Ferguson, Shelby Miller, Bickford, Jackson— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) March 24, 2023
It will be the first opening day rosters for both Pepiot and Jackson.
Technically, non-roster pitchers Tyler Cyr and Wander Suero are still in big league camp, but it sounds like it’s just a formality that they will start the season in the minors, as the two final pitching cuts. Roberts said as much this morning regarding Suero, per Juan Toribio of MLB.com.
It’s a similar story among position players, with those 13 players also set, though the Dodgers will still need to add Jason Heyward to the roster. Non-roster invitees Bradley Zimmer, Steven Duggar, Luke Williams, Drew Avans, and Hunter Feduccia are still in camp, though won’t make the team.
Which means there are four spring training games left — Saturday against Kansas City at Camelback Ranch, then three with the Angels in Los Angeles and Anaheim — but barring some last-minute change of mind, the Dodgers opening day roster is set, if not yet officially.