The Dodgers opening day roster continues to take shape just as players are preparing to return to LA for their annual pre-season freeway series the Angels.
Alanna Rizzo tweeted earlier today that Manager Dave Roberts is set on having eight relievers on the roster once the Dodgers break camp. She also stated that Roberts is leaning towards including Josh Field in that platoon. The 8th spot is still undetermined.
#Dodgers sticking with 8 relievers. Roberts is high on Fields & 8th spot is still TBD.
— Alanna Rizzo (@alannarizzo) March 23, 2018
As of today, there are still 10 relievers on the Dodgers roster. Definitive roles are just days from being announced. Speculation is becoming less necessary, but that being said, one pitcher considered likely to make the roster earlier in the spring has struggled significantly. Wilmer Font has given up 10 earned runs over just 10.2 IP, with a K/BB ratio of 11/6. Roberts has afforded him an extended look this spring citing his strong performance in AAA at the end of last season and the fact that if he doesn’t make the roster he will have to pass through waivers to remain with the Dodgers.
Pedro Baez has had a similar spring experience, doing little to impress in his 6.2 IP. He gave up 5 ER and 11 hits. It is doubtful there are many fans that are hopeful to see Baez claim a roster spot.
JT Chargois, on the other hand, has made quite an impression these last few weeks. The Dodgers claimed Chargois off waivers from the Twins this offseason. That move could turn out to be a smart one. He has only given up 1 ER and recorded 10 SO over 8 IP. He has also only given up just 2 hits. While 8 innings of good pitching are no guarantee of regular season performance, he certainly looks better than some of the other options at this point.
With this analysis in mind, here is how the final bullpen roster may shape out:
- Kenley Jansen S/R
- Ross Stripling R/R
- Tony Cingrani L/L
- Pedro Baez R/R
- Scott Alexander L/L
- Josh Fields R/R
- JT Chargois S/R
- Wilmer Font R/R
Besides Cingrani, Scott Alexander is the only other left handed reliever remaining on the roster, which basically guarantees him a spot.
Deciding to field thirteen pitchers leaves Roberts with a few more cuts to make among the 14 remaining position players.
Trayce Thompson, Joc Pederson, or Kyle Farmer appear to be the most vulnerable to cuts.
Thompson has hit well this spring, but is trying to break into an already crowded outfield. From my perspective, dropping Thompson and (it kills me to say it) Pederson makes the most sense. Pederson has been abysmal at the plate this spring. Allowing a hot Kyle Farmer to continue competing with Austin Barnes for the backup catching spot while Justin Turner is on the DL could prove fruitful for the Dodgers.
It is probable that Matt Kemp will once again take the field in a Dodgers uniform. Unthinkable to most fans just a month ago Kemp’s return looks very likely but still, nothing is for certain. In the LA times, Andy McCullough reported that on the box filled with Kemp’s gear awaiting shipment to LA “DO NOT UNPACK” was scrawled on the side.
Whatever that ends up meaning, fans can rest assured knowing that someone will be taking the field come March 29th and Dodgers baseball will officially be back.
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