Now since the Dodgers won the NL West title in dramatic fashion, it is time to look forward to the NLDS against the Washington Nationals. The only drama the Dodgers have for the rest of the season is… who gets home field advantage and who makes the playoff roster?

For those who don’t know, a playoff roster can hold a maximum 25 people. If you break it down, you get the regular starters (Utley, Seager, Grandal, Gonzalez, Kendrick, Turner, Pederson, Reddick), starters (Kershaw, Hill, etc.) and relievers (Jansen, Blanton, Dayton, etc.).

This One’s for Vin: 2016 Postseason Lineup Card and Roster

One question that has been floating around is if Kiké Herdandez will make a roster spot. And the answer, at least to me, is yes, obviously! Here’s why:

The Dodgers, even though they have an immense amount of depth, can still nicely have Hernandez on the roster. If the Dodgers have four starting pitchers and eight starters on the roster, that leaves 13 spots left for the bullpen and the bench. Yasiel Puig, Carlos Ruiz, and Andrew Toles will definitely make the roster, so that means that there will be 10 bullpen arms? Yes, the Dodgers bullpen has been good, but there aren’t 10 guys worthy.

So let’s add some more bench guys. That’s where Kiké comes in, along with Rob Segedin. Plus, the Dodgers need backup infielders, right? Hernandez has shown he can play at second base, which would give Dave Roberts some flexibility to move around the furniture, as Vin Scully would say.

Plus, as we all know, Kiké is definitely needed when the Dodgers face a lefty pitcher. It was a given that Kiké started in center field when the Dodgers faced Madison Bumgarner this year. And that’s for good reason. Hernandez hit two home runs off Bumgarner in April, and had a .500 average while facing him this season. Hernandez should start in center field (replacing Pederson) when the Dodgers face a Nats left-hander. Luckily the Dodgers don’t have to deal with too many lefties in Washington’s rotation, but the Nationals’ lefty Gio Gonzalez will get a start.

The Dodgers haven’t seen Gonzalez a ton this season, but Kiké has had some success off him. In seven at bats, Hernandez averaged .286 against Gonzalez. Pederson didn’t get a lot of activity against Gonzalez, which hints that Hernandez will get the starting job in (most likely) game three. The Dodgers can also use Hernandez when the Nationals bring out lefty reliever Sean Burnett, who has a 2.08 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP. Oliver Perez is another Nationals lefty the Dodgers may face.

Lastly, let’s not forget Kiké’s savviness in the playoffs last year. Hernandez started in four playoff games last year against a tough Mets rotation, and sported a .308 batting average, which was better than Howie Kendrick’s average and right below Adrian Gonzalez’s average. If Pederson struggles in the playoffs this year like he did last season (god forbid), it is more of a reason to have Kiké on the roster for insurance.

The only way I see Hernandez not making the roster is if the Dodgers really stack the bullpen, adding names like Brock Stewart, Ross Stripling, and J.P. Howell. I think the Dodgers should have eight relievers and six bench players. Kiké should be safe to make the roster and is definitely needed.

4th Time is Sweeter Than the Others

About The Author

As well as being a Journalism student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, I am a passionate Dodgers fan who represents L.A. through and through (minus the Clippers). Side note: I also want nothing more than the San Francisco Giants' "even year" mantra to end.

2 Responses

  1. DodgerBlue88

    Kike is batting .196… .196!!! Stop saying he’s soooo valuable because of stuff he did last year. And really? You’re going to actually put up his numbers and say he’s had success against Gio after just 7 ABs? lol.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.