The Dodgers on Thursday finalized their opening day roster, making official what was decided roughly a week ago.
Of note are the four rookies to make the team. Miguel Vargas is ranked among the top 50 prospects in baseball by The Athletic, Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, MLB Pipeline, and FanGraphs. The bat is his calling card, but the 23-year-old is also playing a new position, taking over as the regular second baseman.
James Outman made a splash in his four-game major league debut last season, then kept hitting after getting sent down to Triple-A. His spring training was so good that he gave the Dodgers no choice but to keep him on the team, with a prominent role in the outfield.
Ryan Pepiot won a spring battle with fellow rookie Michael Grove, both of whom debuted last season. But Pepiot on Thursday landed on the injured list with a left oblique strain, which means Grove is on the roster. Both were vying for the fifth starter spot, filling the rotation hole vacated by Tony Gonsolin’s sprained left ankle. Gonsolin and Pepiot are two of nine Dodgers players to open the season on the injured list.
Andre Jackson made his first opening day roster with a spot in the bullpen, with the usual starting pitcher giving the Dodgers added length in their eight-man relief corps.
Newcomers on the Dodgers opening day roster include designated hitter J.D. Martinez, outfielder David Peralta, starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard, and reliever Shelby Miller, each of whom signed a one-year deal with Los Angeles in free agency. Jason Heyward made the club as a non-roster invitee after signing a minor league contract in December.
Old friend Miguel Rojas also returned to the Dodgers via trade, now thrust into regular duty at shortstop after Gavin Lux tore his ACL in February.
To make room for Heyward on the 40-man roster, Lux — who is expected to miss the entire season — was placed on the 60-day IL.
The bullpen includes six right-handers, plus southpaws Alex Vesia and Caleb Ferguson.
Dodgers 2023 opening day roster
- Starting pitchers (5): Julio Urías, Dustin May, Clayton Kershaw, Noah Syndergaard, Michael Grove
- Right-handed relievers (6): Evan Phillips, Brusdar Graterol, Yency Almonte, Shelby Miller, Phil Bickford, Andre Jackson
- Left-handed relievers (2): Alex Vesia, Caleb Ferguson
- Catchers (2): Will Smith, Austin Barnes
- Infielders (4): Freddie Freeman, Miguel Vargas, Miguel Rojas, Max Muncy
- Outfielders (5): Mookie Betts, James Outman, David Peralta, Trayce Thompson, Jason Heyward
- Infielder/outfielder (1): Chris Taylor
- Designated hitter/outfielder (1): J.D. Martinez
Injured list (9): Walker Buehler*, J.P. Feyereisen*, Tony Gonsolin, Daniel Hudson, Gavin Lux*, Jimmy Nelson, Ryan Pepiot, Alex Reyes, Blake Treinen*
(*60-day injured list)