A critical evaluation process for Dave Roberts and his staff is steadily coming to an end as the season winds down this weekend in Colorado.
The Los Angeles Dodgers (102-57) will finish the regular season with a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. The Rockies are favorites to capture the second Wild Card spot against the Arizona Diamondbacks, but they’ll still be playing with a purpose. LA has clinched the NL West division title already, but Roberts will still be assessing certain positions and looking to make a firm decision about the 25-man postseason roster.
One of the concerns that has loomed since post All-Star break has centered around issues in the bullpen. Outside of Kenley Jansen and Brandon Morrow, it doesn’t seem like any reliever has a locked in role in October. These final games are important because it’s the last chance for certain players to prove why they deserve a shot to compete during the playoffs. Dave Roberts told reporters that Sunday’s game will be a “bullpen game,” which will be a huge for relievers trying to secure a spot on the postseason roster.
Darvish and Wood will not start in Colorado. Sunday will be a "bullpen game". #Dodgers
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) September 27, 2017
Hyun-jin Ryu will also start Friday which is huge considering he has yet to secure a spot on the postseason roster. Unlike Maeda, it looks like Ryu is still battling for a starting rotation role. It’s really between him and Alex Wood at this point, so Ryu’s start on Friday could play a huge factor in the final decision.
Josh Fields, Ross Stripling, and Tony Watson seem like they are the closest behind Morrow and Jansen to making the 25-man roster, but who knows what the final decision will be. Kenta Maeda, Tony Cingrani, Brock Stewart, Pedro Baez, Brandon McCarthy, Luis Avilan, and rookie Walker Buehler are still in the mix and good outings this weekend could help their cases.
This weekend will be interesting. Luckily, we will know next week all of the answers to these questions.
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