The Los Angeles Dodgers went into Spring Training with a general idea of how their Opening Day roster would pan out.
As always, there are a few spots that are left to battles during camp and the Dodgers have some competition going on for some spots. The biggest decision for the team will come in the bullpen and on the bench. While the bullpen could get most of the headlines because of the struggles in 2014, the reserves could end up playing a big part of the season for the Dodgers.
Assuming management decides to take 13 position players, the Dodgers will have five spots available for a handful of players. It would be logical that the breakdown comes down to a spot for an extra catcher, two infielders and two outfielders, but that could change depending on needs. When asked about the bench and any inklings thus far, manager Don Mattingly gave no indication. “We still got to go through camp and see where we’re at and see where we end up. To see how guys do,” Mattingly said.
Guys like Justin Turner and Scott Van Slyke would seem like locks because of their production last season and the needs they fill; however, players like Darwin Barney, Alex Guerrero, Chris Heisey, Scott Schebler, Kiké Hernandez and others have to impress this spring to make the team.
Mattingly was asked if there was a certain point in spring where good play or struggles starts to get noticed. He said,”I think you just look at the whole package and see what you’ve been able to see. It’s hard to sit here and stay you’re going to look at just stats. You have a pretty good understanding of who guys are before we started this and you’re looking at things like their work habits, their routines and how they’re handling themselves. Just the confidence they’re showing. Are they frustrated? Are their at-bats good? Even if they’re not getting hits. So there’s a lot you can see without just having to look at stats. I feel like we’ll be able to make good decisions.”
There is still plenty of time for players to show their worth and the final roster decision will be a major story.
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