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Dodgers: Dave Roberts Reveals That Zach McKinstry Made the Opening Day Roster

A big day for the utility man.



The Dodgers have one final roster decision to make after Monday’s game in Los Angeles. Dave Roberts told media before the game against the Angels that Dustin May would be in the starting rotation and that they had filled out their last position player spot. That just leaves the final bullpen piece to figure out. 

The final position player named to the roster is Zach Mckinstry. Dave Roberts confirmed that the utility man would be a part of the Dodgers Opening Day roster. That means McKinstry will likely serve as the main guy to move around the diamond and come off of the bench. 

The Dodgers will have Chris Taylor as another guy to move around the diamond, though he will probably play most days. McKinstry represents another left-handed bat that will be available to Doc late in games, but with the added benefit of being able to place him anywhere. 

Dodgers Related: Dustin May Named to the Starting Rotation

Interestingly enough, the Dodgers look like they’ll have 3 left-handed bats on the bench to start the year. Edwin Rios and Matt Beaty will end up being the other two available off of the bench to start the year. From the looks of it, they will have Austin Barnes and AJ Pollock as the right-handed options for most games. 

McKinstry came into Spring Training with the weight of taking over Enrique Hernandez’s role from the last few years. He stepped in and crushed the ball throughout Cactus League play all while Dave Roberts moved him around the field. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Having an all LH hitting bench whenever CT3 is already starting will leave the team vulnerable in the later innings when teams bring every LHP available. Barnes can’t be used until the very last because he may have to come in to replace Will Smith if need be. As it stands now this could cost the Dodgers some games in those later innings. They have the means to get another RHB for the bench because McKinstry and Beaty are redundant as far as I am concerned.

  2. Just a wild guess but if Taylor is in the game it’s likely to be one of the following positions: LF, 2B, SS, & maybe third. That puts a Pollock, Lux, Seager and Turner on the bench respectively for the games Taylor is spelling them. I don’t know…the bench looks flakey offensively speaking when a left-hander is pitching for the other guys.
    One solution might be to get Neuse on track offensively and bring him up if Rios, Beaty or McKinstry struggle at the plate. We could also trade Alexander for a RH bat. Need to sit tight with the present plan for a bit. Probably our biggest flaw as we start the season.

    • Neither McKinstry or Rios shows any history of inability to hit lefties. I think Rios hit 3 homers off lefties last year in 14 ABs. McKinstry’s splits over his minor league career are close to even. I’m so not worried about it, you are talking about a single AB in a game. Can Neuse hit a major league lefty better than McKinstry, I doubt there is much difference. McKinstry will give you a good AB, and so will Beaty.

  3. and for at least 40% of the games Will Smith is on the bench as a pinch hitter rather than Austin. The LH bench hitters will be just as good if not better than last year – Joc swing for the fences every pitch is gone. So that leaves replacing Kike’s numbers and that may not be too hard, as long as the RH bench hitters collectively do as well as last year’s RH bench avg. And sure there will be a chance for someone like Neuse to come up if any of the PH’s stumble out of the gate. It’s certainly likely CT doesn’t start everyday so he’s available to pinch hit/sub as well

    • The tough part of that is with a DH we would still see Smiths bat in the lineup on many occasions when Barnes is catching. But instead of Will Smith in the lineup when Barnes catches, the pitcher has to bat and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the end results of a given inning when the pitcher hits won’t be the same .

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