Manager Dave Roberts said his club needed a "change in cast members" this offseason.A.J. Pollock, Joe Kelly and Russell Martin are incoming, with Manny Machado, Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Yasmani Grandal and Alex Wood among the outgoing. The Dodgers' spring questions center on the health of shortstop Corey Seager and
Manager Dave Roberts said his club needed a "change in cast members" this offseason.
A.J. Pollock, Joe Kelly and Russell Martin are incoming, with Manny Machado, Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Yasmani Grandal and Alex Wood among the outgoing. The Dodgers' spring questions center on the health of shortstop Corey Seager and closer Kenley Jansen.
Here's a first look at a possible Opening Day roster.
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Catcher (2): Martin, Austin Barnes
Both have plenty to prove -- Martin (36 on Friday), after his fire-sale trade back to the Dodgers, and Barnes, coming off a dreadful offensive season. Neither has Grandal's bat, but there's more to catching than hitting homers and pitch framing.
First base (2): Max Muncy, David Freese
The Dodgers know what they're getting from Freese, who torments left-handed pitching. Nobody expected Muncy to hit 35 homers after beginning last season in the Minor Leagues, and nobody knows if he can do anything like that again.
Second base (1): Chris Taylor
He fell well short of his 2017 breakout last season, but reuniting with hitting guru Robert Van Scoyoc is promising, and Taylor's defensive versatility is underappreciated.
Third base (1): Justin Turner
Just keep him healthy. A.J. Ellis called Turner the "heart and soul" of the club three years ago, and he wasn't wrong.
Shortstop (1): Seager
It's still iffy that he's ready for Opening Day after elbow and hip operations, but he gets the benefit of the doubt until he's ruled out. Taylor and Enrique Hernández can fill in.
Outfield (4): Cody Bellinger, Pollock, Joc Pederson, Alex Verdugo
Much is needed from Pollock, the key offseason acquisition, starting with good health. Even with him, the outfield looks pretty left-handed without Kemp and Puig, but Taylor and Hernandez will show up there frequently.
Utility (1): Hernandez
Roberts said Hernandez, who posted an .806 OPS, was one of the most valuable players on the club last year because he can play anywhere.
Starting pitcher (5): Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Rich Hill, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Kenta Maeda
As nice as it would have been to add Corey Kluber, this remains the deepest rotation in the league.
Relief pitcher (8): Jansen, Kelly, Pedro Báez, Ross Stripling, Scott Alexander, Tony Cingrani, Julio Urías, Caleb Ferguson
Kelly is a significant upgrade. The big question is Jansen, coming off heart surgery and vowing that he'll take Spring Training seriously after last spring's ill-conceived light schedule.
Here is a first look at a possible Opening Day roster.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.