Ken Gurnick takes a stab at Dodger Opening Day Roster

Cathers and pitchers report tomorrow so MLB had all their beat writers post who they thought would make the opening day rosters for each team. Ken Gurnick is the LAD beat writer for MLB and he gave it his best shot.

Austin Barnes Max Muncy Cody Bellinger Enrique Hernandez
Russell Martin Corey Seager A.J. Pollock
Chris Taylor Joc Pederson
Justin Turner Alex Verdugo
David Freese
Clayton Kershaw Kenley Jansen
Walker Buehler Joe Kelly
Rich Hill Pedro Baez
Hyun-Jin Ryu Ross Stripling
Kenta Maeda Scott Alexander
Tony Cingrani
Julio Urias
Caleb Ferguson

Injuries will surely change this educated guess but I do have some questions about some of the spots.

It does appear that Ken feels that Chris Taylor will be the starting second baseman even though Hernandez got more play at 2nd in the 2018 postseason. If you peruse through the box scores of the 2018 postseason you can see that Roberts wouldn’t commit to anyone giving starts to Hernandez, Muncy, Taylor, and Dozier. Dozier is gone but the other three still remain.  I’ll defer to the beat writer who should have some inside information on who the Dodgers are leaning toward but it would not surprise me in the least if Hernandez wins the 2nd base gig and Taylor is the super utility guy. When a left-hander is pitching I think we can safely say that all of Hernandez/Taylor/Freeze will be in the lineup but will Muncy/Bellinger/ Verdugo?

I guess the two notable players missing are Josh Fields and Dylan Floro. Ken has Caleb Ferguson and Julio Urias making the opening day roster but I would expect both of them to be pitching for OKC in their rotation and one of those spots going to Josh Fields.

Urias has to start and if he’s not starting in the Dodger rotation because the top five are all healthy I have to think it is a given he’s in AAA getting stretched out. Remember this is a guy who has barely pitched in two years and needs some innings. According to the Eric Stephen payroll spreadsheet, Urias still has one minor league option left.

Unless the Dodgers are completely committed to Caleb Ferguson as a relief artist I think he follows Urias to the OKC rotation. He still has three minor league options and can easily be optioned without any concerns.

The roster concern is if you don’t have either Urias or Ferguson you lost two left-handed relief pitchers because the pitchers who would replace them are probably right-handed. Unless Josh Fields isn’t healthy or completely shits the bed this spring he has to be one of the two. The only other left-hander on the 40 man roster is 25-year-old Adam McCreary who has one major league game under his belt. There is no help from the NRI list either as only one pitcher is left-handed (Josh Smoker).

I would agree that Urias and Ferguson, and probably even Dennis Santana are better than most of the pitchers on the projected 25 man roster, but teams don’t usually start the season with their best pitchers when they have minor league options that can be used to use them in situations that might be better for the team in the long run.

Anyway, that will be one of the interesting stories this spring for a team that is mainly without questions.

  1. who will start at 2nd base or will it simply be like last Oct where everyone takes their turn?
  2.  WIll Urias and/or Ferguson make the opening day roster instead of doing regular rotation turns for OKC?

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    1. Opening Day is just a day away | Dodgers, Yesterday and Today

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