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Dodgers: Predictions for the Division Series Roster

Dodgers
Sep 25, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After a long and trying season full of ups and downs, the Dodgers have finally clinched their division. It took every bit of their 162 games season and then some, but their victory in game 163 paved the way for playoff glory. And now comes the difficult task of trimming the roster down to 25 players.

There are a few names that will inevitably be left off of the list that may cause a stir. The biggest name that I believe will be left off of the roster is Chase Utley. It pains me to think about, but I cannot seem to justify a spot for him. Utley has not earned a hit since July 30th and spent a good amount of time on the disabled list for a wrist injury. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him added on as a member of the coaching staff at the end of the season so that he could be in the dugout come playoff time.

There is also the question of Julio Urias. The kid came back from his injury and has absolutely dominated in his limited appearances. He has tossed four scoreless innings in his three games and allowed just one hit. He has also struck out seven without a walk and showed a huge improvement in velocity. The issue is that he simply does not have enough innings under him to warrant a playoff spot. With only three games pitched since he went down with a shoulder injury last April, Julio will have to work towards getting ready for next year.

With that being said, here is how I imagine Dave Roberts building his playoff roster.

Position Players

Catchers(2)- Austin Barnes, Yasmani Grandal

Infield(7)– Cody Bellinger, Brian Dozier, David Freese, Manny Machado, Max Muncy, Chris Taylor, Justin Turner

Outfield(4)– Enrique Hernandez, Matt Kemp, Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig

Starters(4)– Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-jin Ryu, Ross Stripling

Bullpen(8)– Scott Alexander, Pedro Baez, Caleb Ferguson, Dylan Floro, Rich Hill, Kenley Jansen, Kenta Maeda, Alex Wood

Taxi Squad- Josh Fields, Yimi Garcia, Zac Rosscup, Pat Venditte, Kyle Farmer, Alex Verdugo, Andrew Toles

Limited Controversy

For the most part, this is the safe bet for Roberts. Leaving Utley out of the roster is sad, but I am sure most fans understand why it will need to be done. Not everyone really wants Austin Barnes backing up Grandal, but Farmer is not a true catcher. Not to mention the fact that Barnes has hit three homeruns this month after hitting just one way back in May.

Pedro Baez is another name that makes people cringe when they think of high-leverage situations, but he’s been solid. He has allowed just one earned run since August 13th and held his own. He will be used as long as he is effective in the playoff bullpen.

The only real question comes with the starting rotation. It remains unclear if the team will go with Stripling or Hill as the fourth starter. Perhaps they will base it off of matchup, in which case, Rich Hill will get the nod. Hill has had much better success than Stripling in 2018. [button color=”red” size=”big” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”samewindow” url=”https://www.dodgersnation.com/dodgers-clayton-kershaw-cody-bellinger-amongst-top-20-in-mlb-jersey-sales-ce1110/2018/09/30/”]Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw, Cody Bellinger Amongst Top 20 In MLB Jersey Sales[/button]

Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Brook I don’t think Stripling will be in the starting rotation and for that matter I would consider him a strong candidate to not make the roster! Nothing supports him making the roster!

    • I think it will be matchup-based regardless. Hill will get the nod for the Braves series, but depends on who they play after that. Stripling has been MUCH better against Colorado than Hill. Stripling has also been better against Milwaukee.

      But you are correct, Hill definitely gets the nod for ATL.

  2. As Anthony mentioned, I think that Hill will get the starting spot with the way Stripling has been pitching. And with 2 starters turned long relievers, we don’t really need Stripling in the bullpen, putting Fields in that last bullpen spot.

  3. Stripling doesn’t belong on this roster. What has he done in the second half…..nothing, including the long balls he gave up in the All Star game. How could you go to him over Hill?

  4. Hill will definitely start, not Stripling, though I loved the way he pitched in the first half. Final pitching spot will be between Stripling and Fields. Another possibility is to bench Dozier and add Verdugo, to have a LH bat on the bench, since Braves will mostly start Righthanders. Hernandez is on fire and should be starting at 2B every game.

  5. Chase Utley May not have a play off roster spot. But that man plays the game the right way. No doubt.
    When he is done, the Dodgers should scoop him up as a coach or manager. He is an inspiration to players and every day individuals.
    Good luck Mr Utley
    Dennis Miller
    San Dimas, Ca

  6. I don’t believe Chase Utley will be left off the roster. Just don’t see that happening. This is about more than numbers. He’s the leader of this team. I could be wrong, but I will be surprised if Roberts makes that decision.

    • I disagree because every spot is valuable and Chase, for all he has done for the game, is finished. What a career, but they have enough leaders, they need guys that can get on base and score/drive in runs.

  7. For this 5 game series you listed 13 position players and ALL of them must be on the roster. (5 to match, pinch hit or play dee) Which means 12 pitchers. With travel off days, the pen can be used to the fullest each game. So I’m thinking only one long guy is needed. Woods or Stripling goes off the ship. I choose Stripling to stay because of his relief experience and Fields remains. Outside chance Urias gets it..

  8. I feel like Pat Venditte holds more value on the playoff roster than Ross Stripling. He’s been consistent out of the Pen, and he essentially holds value for two roster spots because he is switch-armed.

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