As we approach Christmas weekend, everyone here at TBPC chose to put together a fun, quick post about the Los Angeles Dodgers that really wouldn’t take a ton of work or research.
We decided on taking a look at the 25-man roster as if the season began today — basically just to illustrate how much work actually remains before pitchers and catchers report on February 19.
A few things to note before we begin: we did include Yasmani Grandal and Justin Turner, assuming they make clean recoveries and are 100% healthy by spring training. We did not, however, include Hyun-jin Ryu. Currently, all signs point to him being on schedule, but there are just too many factors at this point to pencil him into the starting rotation.
So with no further ado, here’s how we broke down our version of the 25-man at this juncture of the offseason (and it wasn’t really fun or quick, by the way):
Catchers (2) – Yasmani Grandal and A.J. Ellis
Of course, the most glaring concern is the starting rotation. There’s no need to panic just yet, because additions will be made and there’s still plenty of time. January 8 is an important date to remember, as Kenta Maeda‘s camp will have arrived at a contract decision by day’s end. And it’s also safe to speculate that at least one other starter will be added via trade or free agency, giving Frias the ability to slide back into the swingman role.
A strong and healthy Ryu would also fill a slot, but it’s just not safe to hope and wait for that length of time.
It’s very much worth noting that the two most talented pitchers in the entire organization not named Kershaw, José De León and Julio Urias, aren’t even a part of the 40-man roster just yet. Look for that to change as Opening Day approaches — unless some type of impact trade occurs and surprises everyone.
Another area of concern is the bullpen, which right now looks the same as last year, sans Juan Nicasio and Jim Johnson. This seems to be a priority for Andrew Friedman as well, as made evident by the attempt to bring aboard Aroldis Chapman. There are a few other options in-house, as players such as Frankie Montas, Jharel Cotton, Chris Anderson, Josh Ravin and Ian Thomas are waiting in the wings.
With the exception of the Alex Guerrero situation, the infield may hold up just fine barring any type of injury epidemic. Ronald Torreyes waits at Triple-A to provide any required cover at second, third or short. Micah Johnson, Charlie Culberson and Austin Barnes could provide additional depth, if needed.
Trayce Thompson was acquired to provide complimentary depth at all three outfield spots, but it’s inconceivable to think that the Dodgers will carry six outfielders. It’s easy to speculate that somebody could be moved in some type of trade for a much needed starting pitcher or bullpen piece.
One additional area of concern is the lack of the traditional leadoff batter. Pederson’s strikeout rate is way too high for him to maintain a high OBP. Other options here are limited, but may include Hernandez or Puig, being that the sabermetric philosophy of Friedman doesn’t put a high value on stolen bases.
All that being said, there’s still a multitude of work remaining for the front office. Hopefully Farhan Zaidi and Friedman come fresh out of the gates after the New Year, and finish molding the roster with high hopes, expectations and the talent to contend in 2016.
(Photo Credit: Joe Hamilton)