David Vassegh of AM570 caught up with Farhan Zaidi, the General Manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers, to talk about the postseason roster, Yu Darvish, and so much more. Here are some of the highlights!
On how much the opponent dictates the playoff roster and pitching rotation:
It’ll dictate it a little bit… when you look at the roster I think it might just affect who the last guy or two is that makes the 25-man roster, and as far as the order of the pitching rotation depending on the matchup depending on how guys pitch in the visiting park that might factor in as well… We’re already starting those discussions but some of it really will have to wait till Wednesday when we see who wins that Wild Card game.
On Yu Darvish:
I think our big thing to him has been, you know, to pitch in the zone. Not everybody can do that but his pure stuff is good enough where he can pound the zone and get swings and misses and get soft contact… I think that’s what we’ve seen him do these last 3 or 4 starts.
On the regular season and how it’s been unique:
I’ve never seen a team play as well as we did… I’ve never seen a team lose 16 out of 17 games either. So to have those two extremes in one season has been interesting. I do think we’ve had a moment to look back and really feel like we experienced a lot of successes in this regular season.
On Kenley Jansen:
For us, having Kenley at the back end of the bullpen, number one you have a lead going into the 9th inning and it’s a special feeling knowing that you have the guy who’s the best in the game at finishing those games out… And beyond that, just his leadership with the rest of the guys in the bullpen we have a fairly young group of relievers… His only and primary goal is winning a World Series and bringing that to L.A.
On how he will be filling in the last few spots on the roster:
I think it’s going to come down to who that last pitcher or position player would be and based on the opponent that we have how much value we think we’re going to get out of that position. . . We’re going to be looking at that last roster spot, or last couple of roster spots, for very specialized roles.
On Tim Locastro and him potentially being that specialist they’re looking for:
He’s certainly a guy that we brought up because we wanted to get a look at and will be a consideration. Obviously we have some other good candidates. We’ll just have to see how the match-ups and the roster plays out.
On Pedro Baez
This is a guy that’s been on our playoff roster the last couple of seasons, that has pitched in some really big spots for us, that has dealt with some mechanical issues and lost himself there for a stretch and we think has turned a corner with these last couple of outings. . . We do have a lot of good options so if you fall back a little bit theres always the possibility that somebody else will pass you when there’s only so many spots available. . . He’s a guy who has meant a lot to this team over the last three years and that will certainly factor in as we’re making our final decisions.
You can listen to the full interview here.
The most anticipating decisions have got to be whether or not Pedro Baez will make the postseason roster and who those players are that will take the last few spots. Farhan Zaidi said it himself that they’re looking for the last few spots to be specialized roles, which definitely gives guys like Tim Locastro (pinch-runner) and Andre Ethier (left-handed pinch-hitter) a real shot at making the squad. This is pretty interesting because those players have complete opposite stories, Locastro being the newest Dodger and Ethier being the oldest Dodger.
Like Zaidi said, the winner of the Wild Card game will influence some of these last minute decisions and the Dodgers don’t have to release the roster until Friday. Expect them to use up all of the time they have in constructing the roster and making sure there are no holes.
[button color=”red” size=”big” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”newwindow” url=”http://www.dodgersnation.com/5-possible-x-factors-for-the-dodgers-in-the-nlds/2017/10/04/”]5 Possible X-Factors For The Dodgers In The NLDS[/button]