While the Los Angeles Dodgers have yet to announce their official NLDS roster, the front office and manager Don Mattingly have let the players know who made it.
General manager Farhan Zaidi said they wanted to make sure players knew they made it and what their role would be ahead of the best three-of-five series that begins Friday. In recent years, the Dodgers waited until the 7 a.m. PT deadline to announce their roster. The biggest questions for this year’s final roster come from the number of position players and pitchers, as well as what the final bullpen will look like. The Dodgers were forced to wait a bit to ensure that outfielder Yasiel Puig was healthy and to see if fellow outfielder Scott Van Slyke would recover from an injury.
According to Jill Painter Lopez of the New York Times, Puig appears to be healthy as he said he made the 25-man roster:
— Jill Painter Lopez (@jillpainter) October 7, 2015
With Puig on the roster, that left the matter of if the Dodgers were going to take 13 or 14 position players. During the regular season, they usually carried 13; however, with one less starting pitcher in the mix, the team could conceivably take 14.
It’s not a sure thing, but it appears the Dodgers will be taking 14 position players as Justin Ruggiano also confirmed he made the roster via Dodgers Nation reporter Matt Moreno:
Justin Ruggiano said he's been told he's on the NLDS roster. Called the finish this season a dream.
— Matthew Moreno (@MMoreno1015) October 8, 2015
Ruggiano is expected to be the sixth outfielder behind Puig, Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford, Joc Pederson and Kiké Hernandez, who also serves as the super utility man. It’s quite a turn for Ruggiano, who was acquired in August from the Seattle Mariners where he was playing in Triple-A. He came in and hit .291 with a .618 slugging percentage in 21 games.
In the bullpen, reliever Jim Johnson was sent home assuring that he did not have a spot on the roster or as the possible relievers to come up if injuries occur. While Kenley Jansen, J.P. Howell and a couple others appear to be locks, other relievers continued to fight for a spot.
According to JP Hoornstra of the LA Daily News, two relievers revealed their fate for the first round:
Joel Peralta is in. Juan Nicasio is out. #Dodgers
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) October 8, 2015
Peralta started the year strong before going down with injuries and being ineffective for most of the season; however, he came back strong towards the end of the year and appears to have pitched his way onto the roster. Nicasio is a surprising snub, as he was one of the more dependable relievers all season. He struggled to end the year, but Mattingly brought him in for a number of different situations and he pitched well.
It appears most of the roster is set or known; however, there could be a surprise when the final roster is announced.