I thought this day would never come, but it’s almost time for Dodgers baseball! For real this time.
We are 3 days away from the start of the season, and the team will be forced to make some difficult decisions very soon. We previously did a roster prediction when we found out that the league was moving to 30 players to begin, but needless to say, a lot has changed since then. David Price opted out, Tony Gonsolin was optioned to alternate camp, Jimmy Nelson had season-ending surgery, and some new names have been added to the mix.
It’s time for a new round of predictions, some that will hopefully closely resemble what the team will look like come Thursday. Most of the roster spots are all but locked in, leaving only a few roles to fill.
There are certain players that we have zero doubt about, and neither should you. These are fan favorites and have proven themselves time and time again. This list also includes some new faces that will be important to the success of the team in this 60-game season.
The only surprise here is that David Price will not be joining the Dodgers this season. After his decision to sit out the season was announced, Ross Stripling became the next man up and looks to be built up as a starter in time for Opening Day. Buehler is still a bit behind the others, but expect him and Dustin May to form a starting tangent every 5th day to start the season. Pitching will be the biggest need early on, as the starters will need insurance after a less than ideal timeframe to stretch out for the season. Tony Gonsolin should have been on this list, but his late arrival means that he has to be built up before joining the team. Expect to see him at some point during the season.
No surprises here, just a bunch of solid and reliable names to fill out a lineup card with.
Likely, But Not Set In Stone
Dave Roberts has gone on record about his desire to carry up to 17 pitchers early on. Depending on how many pitchers the team opts to go with, there may only be room for one or two positions players left on the roster. If so, Rios and Beaty are the first ones up to fill the slots. Rios, in particular, is a sneaky pick to be the team’s most consistent DH due to his power stroke. Graterol has been solid in his appearances thus far, making him an intriguing arm for the bullpen. He will most likely break camp as a part of the 30-man, but he is not as locked into a spot as the others.
Those Fighting for the Final Spots
Assuming that the previously mentioned 28 players are a part of the 30-man roster, there are only 2 spots up for grabs. In all likelihood, these will go to pitchers to deepen their bullpen. AJ Ramos was recently signed and is a great bounce-back candidate this season. Ferguson would be ideal as a lefty, but he has not had much action in the intrasquad games. Mitchell White is a name to keep an eye on as a possible long reliever who could be sent down once the roster sizes fall. Terrance Gore would be might vote if an extra position player can be added simply for his speed.
No matter how things shake out, the Dodgers will be absolutely loaded this season. No team is better equipped to handle the strain of a 60 game sprint to the finish, and I expect them to take full advantage of that. Come Thursday, it will truly be time for Dodgers baseball.