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Friedman on Dodgers: 'I really like our team'

Roberts views Maeda as part of starting rotation
February 13, 2019

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Did the Dodgers, after losing back-to-back World Series, do enough over the winter to get a ring?Andrew Friedman, the president of baseball operations, said there's no shortage of feedback on the question.:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::"You can go to Starbucks and the barista

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Did the Dodgers, after losing back-to-back World Series, do enough over the winter to get a ring?
Andrew Friedman, the president of baseball operations, said there's no shortage of feedback on the question.
:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::
"You can go to Starbucks and the barista can say, 'You need more pitching,'" said Friedman. "Everybody has an opinion; it's the blessing and the curse of the passion the fans have."
A year ago, roster changes were limited compared to this winter, when key contributors Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Yasmani Grandal and Alex Wood were traded or left.
"We just felt it healthy and good to bring in different guys at times," he said. "The most important thing for fans, are we in position to win a World Series, and I think we are. Time will tell. We have a chance to be an elite team."
Friedman didn't rule out a spring acquisition, especially considering the quality and quantity of available free agents, but stressed that "I actually really like our team. We really have no weak spot on the roster."
"I really like our projected 25-man and the depth we have behind it. That said, it's not in our DNA to sit back and think the roster is on lockdown. We always have conversations and are thinking about things. If we do something, we'll feel that much better."
• There seems to be no spot in the starting rotation open after manager Dave Roberts said he views Kenta Maeda "as a starter for us. That's all I'm thinking about. We see him as one of our five starters," despite Maeda moving to the bullpen the past two offseasons.
The rest of the rotation, if everyone is healthy, is Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Rich Hill. That leaves Ross Stripling, an All-Star last year, and Julio Urías left with bullpen roles, although they will be stretched out in the spring.

• Friedman said an announcement could come within a week on the responsibilities of Chase Utley, who retired from playing last season and will fill a front-office role for the Dodgers.
Danny Lehmann, last year's game planning and communications coach on the big league staff, this year will serve in a hybrid role that will include visiting the Major League club, scouting and working with Minor League catchers on game planning.
Bill Haselman, manager of Triple-A Oklahoma City last year, has been reassigned to a roving Minor League role.
• Roberts told his players to ease into Spring Training after a short offseason, but Hill had other ideas. His first bullpen session of camp Wednesday was the 14th since late December.
"If you look back at his recent history, he really doesn't have good springs and typically coming out of the gate, he's a slow starter," said Roberts. "For him, he wanted to get ahead of it and do something different."

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.