As expected, the Los Angeles Dodgers waited until the final day to announce their roster for the 2014 NLDS.
Whereas the St. Louis Cardinals released theirs Thursday afternoon, the Dodgers were in a slightly different situation as they awaited word on Hyun-Jin Ryu’s availability. After throwing a simulated game Wednesday and having his left shoulder re-evaluated Thursday, Ryu was cleared and scheduled to start Game 3 of the series.
Deviating from their approach in the 2013 NLDS when they carried 11 pitchers and 14 position players, the Dodgers’ 2014 NLDS roster has 12 pitchers on it, including a surprise lefty. The breakdown is as follows (alphabetical order):
STARTING PITCHERS: Zack Greinke, Dan Haren, Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu
RELIEF PITCHERS: Pedro Baez, Scott Elbert, Carlos Frias, J.P. Howell, Kenley Jansen, Brandon League, Brian Wilson, Jamey Wright
POSITION PLAYERS: Drew Butera, Carl Crawford, A.J. Ellis, Andre Ethier, Adrian Gonzalez, Dee Gordon, Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Hanley Ramirez, Miguel Rojas, Justin Turner, Juan Uribe, Scott Van Slyke
While some players were a lock to make the postseason roster, others essentially auditioned in the final three games of the regular season. Manager Don Mattingly offered little detail as to what to expect other than stating Wednesday Kevin Correia and Chris Perez wouldn’t be included.
Both pitchers will be eligible for the NL Championship Series should the Dodgers advance and opt to retool their roster. Paco Rodriguez, who pitched well last season before wearing down in the postseason, was also omitted and so too was Darwin Barney.
In a similar mold to Erisbel Arruebarrena and Rojas, Barney served as a late-inning defensive specialist in the final week or so of the regular season. Barney being left off could be an indication Gordon is fully recovered from the irritation in his right hip.
Both Baez and Frias being named to the 25-man roster is another chapter in their respective seasons. The young right-handers began the year in the Minors, where they spent the majority of their time, but certainly took advantage of the opportunities they were given with the Dodgers.
With Baez in the fold, it gives manager Don Mattingly another power right-hander to use late in games. However, with both of the rookies making the roster, it strips the Dodgers of another position player that could have been valuable in pinch-running situations.