Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Who will be on LA's Opening Day roster?

@kengurnick
February 17, 2020

LOS ANGELES -- Convinced of the need for an October difference maker, the Dodgers acquired former MVP Mookie Betts and former Cy Young winner David Price from the Red Sox and Brusdar Graterol from the Twins last week. Until the blockbuster, they mostly tinkered with the roster. They’re giving non-tendered

LOS ANGELES -- Convinced of the need for an October difference maker, the Dodgers acquired former MVP Mookie Betts and former Cy Young winner David Price from the Red Sox and Brusdar Graterol from the Twins last week.

Until the blockbuster, they mostly tinkered with the roster. They’re giving non-tendered reliever Blake Treinen and starting pitchers Alex Wood (his second L.A. stint) and Jimmy Nelson (also non-tendered) opportunities for bounce-back seasons, hoping Treinen can bolster a shaky bullpen and the Wood/Nelson pairing can help pick up some starts.

Forecasting all 30 teams: Lineups, rotations, closers

In addition to trading Kenta Maeda to Minnesota in the Graterol deal, the Dodgers lost free-agent pitchers Hyun-Jin Ryu and Rich Hill, backup catcher Russell Martin is an unsigned free agent and relievers Yimi García and JT Chargois are elsewhere.

Here’s an update on how the roster shapes up:

Pitchers
Locks: Pedro Báez, Walker Buehler, Kenley Jansen, Joe Kelly, Clayton Kershaw, David Price, Ross Stripling, Blake Treinen, Julio Urías, Alex Wood
Possibilities: Scott Alexander, Caleb Ferguson, Dylan Floro, Victor Gonzalez, Tony Gonsolin, Brusdar Graterol, Adam Kolarek, Dustin May, Jimmy Nelson, Edubray Ramos, Dennis Santana, Josh Sborz, Mitchell White

Buehler and Kershaw anchor a rotation that loses Ryu, Maeda and Hill while adding Price. The fourth-starter job is Urías’ to lose. Wood and Nelson will compete in the spring with Stripling, May and Gonsolin for open spots. Of course, it’s the bullpen that has drawn the focus if Jansen can’t regain his All-Star form. Kelly’s first season left the Dodgers wondering what to expect, while the club’s vague explanations left the rest of us wondering if he’s healthy or hurt. Treinen is a wild card after following his dominant 2018 with a poor '19. Graterol throws hard, but is only 21 with a history of injuries.

Catchers
Locks: Will Smith
Possibilities: Austin Barnes, Jose Lobaton, Keibert Ruiz

Judging from the postseason, management is committed to Smith, ready or not. The backup job appears to be Barnes’ to lose, with non-roster invite Lobaton as veteran insurance.

Infielders
Locks: Enrique Hernández, Max Muncy, Gavin Lux, Corey Seager, Justin Turner
Possibilities: Matt Beaty, Zach McKinstry, Edwin Ríos

Things look set, with Muncy at first, Lux at second, Seager at short and Turner at third. Hernández and Chris Taylor can sub up the middle, Beaty and Rios on the corners.

Outfielders
Locks: Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts, Joc Pederson, A.J. Pollock, Chris Taylor
Possibilities: DJ Peters

The club heads into the season with Bellinger the center fielder, flanked by fellow MVP Betts in right field and Pederson and Pollock sharing left field. But with the Dodgers, there is no depth chart as they shuffle everybody all over the place from one day to the next. That includes Taylor and Hernández taking turns in the outfield. Beaty can play the corners in the infield and outfield. There is no expectation for a return by Andrew Toles, who missed the 2019 season with personal issues.

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