The Dodgers still have until Monday to submit their official 28-man roster for the National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves, but on Saturday, Dave Roberts hinted at some changes.
Each postseason round has featured some somewhat shocking changes — either additions or subtractions. Ahead of the Division Series, the unexpected missing name was designated hitter Edwin Rios. We later learned that Eddie suffered a groin injury during workouts in between the Wild Card and NLDS rounds.
Now Doc says Rios could be back on the roster for the Braves series.
The one thing we have to decide is Eddie Rios. He’s getting better every day with that groin injury. He took some swings [on Friday] and ran about 75%. I don’t know how he is [Saturday], so we still have some time on that.
Rios went hitless and picked up a walk in his NLWC start at DH. Overall, he posted a fine .250/.301/.645 triple slash line with 14 extra-base hits in 32 games. His power bat absolutely makes a difference in a lineup. In LA’s 3 game sweep of the Padres in the NLDS, Joc Pederson filled in at the DH role and picked up a pair of big base knocks in the decisive game 3 in Arlington.
Along with catcher Will Smith’s regular DH day when Clayton Kershaw starts, the Dodgers are deep at DH for the NLCS.
More Roster Moves Afoot?
As for any other potential moves, Roberts mentioned that the club may once again look to move around some bullpen arms.
And we’re going to talk through the bullpen a little bit more … we’re going to make sure the matchups continue to make sense for us.
The current relief core features right-handers Kenley Jansen, Joe Kelly, Brusdar Graterol, Blake Treinen, Dylan Floro, and Pedro Baez. Adam Kolarek and Victor Gonzalez make up the left-handed hurlers. From the taxi squad, the club has 5 arms available, including LHPs Alex Wood and Scott Alexander.
The Braves posted an OPS nearly 100 points lower against left-handed pitching this season, so Wood or Alexander could be making their first appearances on the active roster this postseason.
The NLCS begins on Monday, October 12 with Walker Buehler (0-0, 3.38 postseason) getting the ball for Los Angeles in game 1. Max Fried (0-0, 3.27 postseason) has been named the game 1 starter for Atlanta.