The Los Angeles Dodgers announced their starting rotation for the 2015 National League Division Series matchup with the New York Mets, unsurprisingly naming Clayton Kershaw the Game 1 starter.
While the pitching probables are now set, neither the Dodgers nor the Mets have announced their respective 25-man postseason rosters. Juan Uribe has been ruled out due to injury, and it appears Scott Van Slyke will suffer the same fate.
The Dodgers have until 7 a.m. PT on Friday to submit their NLDS roster, but the Dodgers Nation staff has provided their predictions.
Eric Avakian (@AvakEric):
Starting Pitchers: Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Brett Anderson, Alex Wood.
Relief Pitchers: J.P. Howell, Kenley Jansen, Chris Hatcher, Jim Johnson, Luis Avilan, Pedro Baez, Yimi Garcia
Position Players: Adrian Gonzalez, Howie Kendrick, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Justin Turner, Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford, Joc Pederson, Kiké Hernandez, Yasmani Grandal, A.J. Ellis, Corey Seager, Yasiel Puig, Justin Ruggiano.
The injury to Scott Van Slyke has left him limited against the mostly right-handed rotation of the New York Mets, leaving me no other option than to include Puig. His enthusiasm for the game and willingness to contribute could be game-changers.
Although he hasn’t entirely shown it in his brief time here, Johnson was acquired in large part for his experience in moments like these. He, along with Garcia, get the final two nods in terms of relief pitchers. Garcia has been around for almost two seasons now and seems ready for the opportunity to thrive on the main stage.
Rollins and Utley’s experience and clutch-hitting ability leave them as safe choices to make the roster. The main question regarding shortstop is whether or not Corey Seager will start. I believe that all his contributions in such a short amount of time secured him at least a spot on the roster.
Ruggiano’s ability to spot the ball and hit left-handed pitching earned him a nod, taking the final spot on my roster prediction.
Jeff Spiegel (@JeffSpiegel):
Starting Pitchers: Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Alex Wood, Brett Anderson
Relief Pitchers: Kenley Jansen, Chris Hatcher, J.P. Howell, Luis Avilan, Pedro Baez, Yimi Garcia, Juan Nicasio, Joel Peralta
Position Players: A.J. Ellis, Yasmani Grandal, Adrian Gonzalez, Howie Kendrick, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Carl Crawford, Enrique Hernandez, Andre Ethier, Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson
Always an interesting game trying to guess who makes it and who doesn’t. The notable omission in my list is Justin Ruggiano, who has been mashing for the Dodgers lately, I just don’t see how the Dodgers could keep him with five other outfielders already on the list.
With Puig back, I think Ruggiano and Scott Van Slyke find themselves on the outside looking in; granted Van Slyke is battling injury. (Note: I’d take Ruggiano over Utley or Rollins, I just don’t see that ever happening)
As for the pitchers, there’s no controversy amongst who the four starters are. The relievers I think are actually fairly stable as well. The only exception being if Los Angeles decides to take Ruggiano and sacrifice a bullpen spot in doing so — if that’s the case, someone like Peralta might be on the outside looking in.
In his last nine innings, however, Peralta has a 2.00 ERA with 11 strikeouts and just four baserunners allowed. With a bullpen as shaky and unpredictable as the one the Dodgers have boasted in previous postseasons, I think it’s a decent bet they take their chances with an extra reliever just in case.
Jared Massey (@JaredJMassey):
Starting Pitchers: Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Brett Anderson, Alex Wood
Relief Pitchers: Kenley Jansen, Juan Nicasio, Chris Hatcher, J.P. Howell, Luis Avilan, Pedro Baez, Yimi Garcia
Position Players: A.J. Ellis, Yasmani Grandal, Adrian Gonzalez, Howie Kendrick, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson, Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford, Scott Van Slyke, Kiké Hernandez
The Dodgers have the best one-two punch in baseball and, despite some postseason struggles in recent years, you had to give the Game 1 start to the best pitcher in baseball. Brett Anderson will attempt to replicate Hyun-jin Ryu’s steadiness as the No. 3 starter, with Alex Wood possibly rounding out the abbreviated rotation.
No real surprises in the bullpen, though I have a creeping suspicion that Garcia will be left off the roster in favor of Joel Peralta. The Dodgers haven’t felt the need to carry a long-man during the regular season and the coaching staff believes relievers such as, Baez and Nicasio can go multiple innings.
It may be controversial, but I’m of the opinion that Puig should not only be on the postseason roster, but he should be the team’s starting right fielder. He has as much offensive potential as anyone on the roster and the Dodgers can’t afford to be without one of their best players in a key series.
Corey Seager should be the team’s starting shortstop, even though he’s just over one month removed from his Major-League debut. Hernandez gives the club tremendous depth off the bench, while Utley and Rollins provide that “veteran presence” everyone loves.
The biggest question mark is Scott Van Slyke, who should be on the roster if he’s healthy. If not, Justin Ruggiano would take his place.
CONTINUE READING: Some Surprises In The Bullpen, Bold Yasiel Puig Claim