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Dodgers Nation Roundtable: Setting The NLDS Roster



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Jeff Spiegel (@JeffSpiegel):

Starting Pitchers: Zack Greinke, Dan Haren, Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu

Relief Pitchers: Pedro Baez, J.P. Howell, Kenley Jansen, Brandon League, Paco Rodriguez, Brian Wilson, Jamey Wright

Position Players: Darwin Barney, 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

Last year in the NLDS, the Dodgers took 14 position players and 11 pitchers, and my prediction reflects the same breakdown this year. Remembering that it’s just a five-game series, I figure the Dodgers won’t need a long reliever/fifth starter, and I also figure they won’t need an eighth arm in the bullpen given the short series (and faith in Kershaw and Greinke).

With that in mind, I think Barney and Rojas both make the squad as defensive replacements and potential pinch-runners, while Chris Perez is the odd man out in the bullpen. Personally, I’d take Perez over Wright, but I think Wright’s ability to serve as an emergency long reliever is probably appealing.

Vince Samperio (@VinceSince91):

Starting Pitchers: Dan Haren, Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu

Relief Pitchers: Pedro Baez, J.P. Howell, Kenley Jansen, Brandon League, Paco Rodriguez, Jamey Wright

Position Players: Darwin Barney, Drew Butera, Carl Crawford, A.J. Ellis, Andre Ethier, Adrian Gonzalez, Dee Gordon, Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Hanley Ramirez, Miguel Rojas, Juan Uribe, Justin Turner, Scott Van Slyke

The Dodgers carried 37 players in September and each brings something different to the table, making the 25-man roster for October a bit difficult to make. The eight starting position players and four starting pitchers were a lock. Key bench players like Turner, Van Slyke and Ethier were also a given, along with bullpen necessities Jansen and Howell.

In a five-game series, the Dodgers should be able to get by with 14 position players and 11 pitchers. Thus far, we have 11 in the field (five outfielders, six infielders). Butera makes the cut as the backup catcher, leaving two spots for Joc Pederson, Roger Bernadina, Erisbel Arruebarrena, Rojas, Alex Guerrero and Darwin Barney.

While Bernadina and Pederson bring speed and defense, there is simply no room for a sixth outfielder. Guerrero has yet to show the ability to hit and wasn’t given a chance to show his defense. Based on the final month, Rojas and Barney earned their way onto the roster for their stellar defense in the infield for the later innings, which leaves Arruebarrena off the roster.

In the bullpen, there are five slots and a handful of relievers. Wilson and League have had the trust of Don Mattingly all season and should make the team. For the long-man/middle reliever, Wright beats out Frias mostly based on experience, although Frias did well down the stretch.

In the battle of left-handers, Rodriguez beats out Daniel Coulombe and Scott Elbert simply because he is better. The final spot comes to hard-throwing right-handers Baez and Perez. Baez is in his first year in the majors, but ultimately earns the spot because of his control. Perez has struggled with his control all year and it cannot be afforded in the postseason.

Jared Massey (@JaredJMassey):

Starting Pitchers: Dan Haren, Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu

Relief Pitchers: Pedro Baez, Carlos Frias, J.P. Howell, Kenley Jansen, Brandon League, Paco Rodriguez, 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

The Dodgers’ greatest weakness is their bullpen, which is why they should carry an extra reliever. Don Mattingly has been consistent in entrusting crucial innings to Brian Wilson, who hasn’t shown the reliability of a setup man.

This should lead to more high leverage innings for Baez, who’s done well in handling pressure situations, but Mattingly isn’t likely to trust a rookie with the game on the line. Look for Wilson and Howell to split setup duties, based on the situation.

Assuming Ryu is healthy, the team has a formidable rotation. Even Haren has been strong late in the season, and Wright and Frias give the team long relief options. A five-man bench is all that’s needed, with the defensive versatility of the group.

Turner and Ethier provide the team with its primary pinch-hitters, while Rojas can spell Ramirez late in games for defensive purposes. Van Slyke gives the team a lefty-masher, though Crawford has been great against same-handed pitching this year.

Overall, this group has the talent to take the pennant and stand toe-to-toe with the AL champ in the World Series.

Written by Staff Writer

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