Are the Dodgers done shopping?
With just about all the questions answered you’d have to think the Dodgers might be ready to pack up this roster and head to Glendale to sort out who is going to be on the 25-Man roster come April.
It wasn’t a terribly busy winter for the Dodgers but they did what they needed to do:
- Resigned Turner, Jansen, and Rich Hill
- Traded Jose De Leon for starting 2nd baseman Logan Forsythe to replace Chase Utley who is still looking for a job.
- Signed free agent Sergio Romo to replace Joe Blanton who is still looking for a job.
and a few others that they didn’t need to do but did anyway:
- Traded Howie Kendrick for Darin Ruf and Darnell Sweeney
- Jettisoned Micah Johnson to Atlanta
- Jettisoned Carlos Frias to Cleveland
- Traded Carlos Ruiz to Seattle for Vidal Nuno
Puig is still here.
All the prospects but Jose De Leon are still here.
Unless the front office has a few more tricks under their sleeve this is the roster that will head to spring training:
|Starting – 1st Base|||||Adrian Gonzalez|||||35|
|Starting – 2nd Base|||||Logan Forsythe|||||30|
|Starting – Shortstop|||||Corey Seager|||||23|
|Starting – 3rd Base|||||Justin Turner|||||32|
|Starting – Catcher|||||Yazmani Grandal|||||28|
|Starting – CF|||||Joc Pederson|||||25|
|Starting??? – RF|||||Yasiel Puig|||||26|
|Starting??? – LF|||||Andre Ethier|||||35|
|Starting Pitcher|||||Clayton Kershaw|||||29|
|Starting Pitcher|||||Rich Hill|||||37|
|Starting Pitcher|||||Kenta Maeda|||||29|
|Starting Pitcher|||||Julio Urias|||||20|
|RH Setup Man|||||Sergio Romo|||||34|
|RH Setup Man|||||Pedro Baez|||||29|
|Backup Catcher|||||Austin Barnes|||||27|
|Starting Pitcher|||||Alex Wood|||||26|
|Starting Pitcher|||||Scott Kazmir|||||33|
|Starting Pitcher|||||Brandon McCarthy|||||33|
|Starting Pitcher|||||Hyun-Jin Ryu|||||30|
|Starting Pitcher|||||Ross Stripling|||||27|
|Starting Pitcher|||||Brock Stewart|||||25|
|LH Setup Man|||||Grant Dayton|||||29|
|LH Setup Man|||||Luis Avilan|||||27|
|LH Setup Man|||||Adam Liberatore|||||30|
|LH Setup Man|||||Vidal Nuno|||||29|
|RH Setup Man|||||Josh Fields|||||31|
|RH Setup Man|||||Chris Hatcher|||||32|
|RH Setup Man|||||Josh Ravin|||||29|
|NRI – Best Chance|||||Brandon Morrow|||||32|
|Utility Infielder|||||Chris Taylor|||||26|
|NRI – Utility Infielder|||||Charlie Culberson|||||28|
|NRI – 2nd/SS/Outfielder|||||Darnell Sweeney|||||26|
|1st/OF|||||Scott Van Slyke|||||30|
The Dodgers have six of the eight positions locked up. The real questions are?
How will Urias be utilized in 2017? It sounds like Urias may hit extended spring training to keep his major league innings down so that he can be properly utilized during the later months of the season. If that is the case, the Dodgers have two rotational openings. Who will win them? I don’t know but I’m rooting for McCarthy/Ryu/Wood. Nothing against Kazmir I just like the upside of those three over Kazmir. Realistically, Ryu would have to do some major hurdling to make it into June and still be in the rotation. Ideally, everyone is healthy and they can move Kazmir or McCarthy. By June, if Urias is ready, they should only have one spot unless…..
How much will Rich Hill pitch? No one is expecting more than 150 innings. Everyone seems to expect him to be good no matter how many innings he does pitch. I’m not optimistic either way so I hope he blows my mind and shatters my presumptive nature to not trust anyone to do something no one has done before.
Who mans the bullpen after the big three? I have little idea who is going to make up the rest of it. You could make a case for everyone trying to win a spot. I do think Hatcher is probably the odd man out since he’s out of options and probably not one of the seven best options. Avilan is also out of options and unless he’s hurt or horrible this spring, Avilan should make the team. You’d expect Dayton to have a leg up after his brilliant 2016 campaign but the numbers might have him starting out in AAA. Brandon Morrow has the stuff to be the best NRI option to make the 25 man roster, but he also has as much chance of being healthy by April 1st as any pitcher being better than Clayton Kershaw during the regular season.
Is Puig going to be healthy enough or are those dual hammy issues problematic? I have no idea. If they are a problem, then the team will have room for Toles and Andre in the outfield. If that is the case, Cody Bellinger might be knocking on that RF door before June.
Who is going to play LF? I think Andre Ethier beats out Andrew Toles for the strong-side platoon. One of Scott Van Slyke, Trayce Thompson, Darin Ruff, or Enrique Hernandez will handle the left-handers. Thompson has the most upside of the quartet and if healthy should eventually get that gig, but he may not be healthy enough come April to stake his claim to the job. It is not out of the question that Cody Bellinger simply takes the job in which case I should probably have added him to this roster table. I am however rooting for Toles to win the job.
At 35, is this the year that Adrian Gonzalez relinquishes his iron man title or does he continue to play 150 games or more? Let’s just say that it is a good thing Cody Bellinger is still here.
Which utility infielder will the Dodgers carry? Honestly, who cares except the players involved?
Which Enrique Hernandez will show up? The 2015 or 2016 version? or something in between? The safe bet is to say something in between. I hate being safe, I’m thinking the 2015 version is going to pop up again.
Whoever makes the 25 man team for opening day, they shouldn’t get comfortable. With Cody Bellinger knocking on a few doors, Urias hanging out in extended spring training, and all those starters needing a place to pitch, you can expect the roster to be as fluid as our President’s opinions.
This is a deep team, with the best starting pitcher in baseball, the best closer in baseball, a top five shortstop in baseball, the best pitcher from Japan in baseball, the best curveball pitcher in baseball, the best red-bearded 3rd baseman in baseball, the best switch-hitting framing catcher in baseball, the best Mexican 1st baseman in baseball, the best ex-Padre futility hitter turned studly 2nd baseman in baseball, the best Cuban right fielder in baseball, the best center fielder named ofter an athletic gear in baseball, the best left fielder to skip a year of baseball.
If that ain’t good enough, I don’t know what is.