Yesterday we covered the Dodgers finalized Opening Day pitching staff. On Thursday, just before taking on the Angels, the team has finalized the rest of their roster.
According to multiple sources, the last three position battles have been decided, meaning that the entire roster is accounted for.
#Dodgers cuts: OF T. Thompson, IF C. Taylor, C B. Wilson. Final bench spots: IF-OF S. Van Slyke, IF-OF E. Hernandez, C A. Barnes.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) March 30, 2017
Today the #Dodgers optioned IF Chris Taylor, OF Trayce Thompson and LHP Julio Urias. They reassigned C Bobby Wilson to the minor leagues.
— Alanna Rizzo (@alannarizzo) March 30, 2017
Taylor, Thompson and Urias optioned. Bobby Wilson re-assigned to the minors.
The roster appears to be set.
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) March 30, 2017
Urias getting optioned was a given, as Roberts had announced that he would be days earlier.
Austin Barnes was originally announced as the Dodgers backup catcher at the beginning of spring, but a standout spring training from Bobby Wilson put that in question. In the end Roberts opted to stick with Austin Barnes.
Scott Van Slyke edged out Trayce Thompson for the last outfield slot after he enjoyed himself a healthy spring. Van Slyke was injured throughout a great part of the 2016 season and is looking to stay healthy to rebound in 2017. He was a large contributing factor to the Dodgers success in 2014 and 2015 so a healthy Van Slyke can be big for the club.
The last and most surprising outcome of the position battles is Kiké Hernandez beating out Chris Taylor for the utility man spot on the roster.
Chris Taylor played at a much higher level than Kiké Hernandez did over the course of spring training. Not to mention that Kiké left the club for a good portion of the preseason to play for his home country of Puerto Rico. After a down year in 2016, Kiké will have to start hot or else we will see Chris Taylor up with the Dodgers sooner rather than later.
The other two spots on the bench are going to Franklin Gutierrez, who will post likely platoon with Toles in left field, and Chase Utley, who will be moving around the infield and the main backup to Forsythe.