Dodgers' roster surprises: 3 catchers, no Wood

October 5th, 2016
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced his NL Division Series roster Tuesday, and it had two surprises -- three catchers and no spot for lefty reliever Alex Wood. (Denis Poroy/Getty)Denis Poroy/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers manager Dave Roberts revealed his team's roster for the National League Division Series when he addressed the media on Tuesday, and he offered a few surprises.

The Dodgers will carry three catchers against the Nationals, with starting and the backups working in flexible roles.  will see plenty of time as one of the team's top right-handed bats off the bench, and versatile rookie figures to fill in behind the plate, on the basepaths or in the infield.

"[Barnes'] versatility certainly plays into it,'" President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman said. "He's got some foot speed, especially relative to catchers, but also it frees up [Ruiz]. It frees him up for potential big spots against left-handed relievers. It just felt like overall it helped complete our roster."

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One of the more surprising exclusions from the roster was left-hander , who looked excellent in September after returning from elbow debridement surgery. The Dodgers will instead carry two other left-handers in the bullpen with , who was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City eight times this season, behind rookie .

"The specifics of their hitters, we just feel [Avilan] matches up really well against them," Friedman said. "He's pitched really well this year, handled the adversity of being optioned. Going up and going back down, what he's worked on early in the year has put him in the position to have the success he's had more recently."

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Twenty-year-old left-hander is in line to start Game 4 behind , and . Urias threw five simulated innings on Tuesday, but Roberts acknowledged that Kershaw starting on short rest remains a possibility. Kershaw missed more than two months with a herniated disk during the season, but he holds a 1.29 ERA since returning and reached seven innings in both of his last two starts of the regular season.

"We'll cross that bridge when we get to it," Roberts said. "With Clayton, he's gone on short rest before. For us, we know he's going to pitch Game 1 and outside of that, we'll make that decision going forward."

Kiké Hernandez didn't make the roster despite getting regular starts against left-handed starting pitchers this season. The team decided to go with the hotter bat in for a utility spot. Hernandez will instead travel to Arizona to stay prepared, as Roberts said he would be a possibility for an NL Championship Series roster. He will be joined by most of the non-roster players.

Three of the non-roster players -- Wood, and  -- will travel to D.C. as part of the team's taxi squad.

The Dodgers' full NLDS roster is as follows:

Infielders:, , , , Culberson

Outfielders:, , , , ,

Catchers: Grandal, Ruiz, Barnes

Starting pitchers: Kershaw, Hill, Maeda, Urias

Relievers:, , , , , Dayton, Avilan