After skipper Dave Roberts informally revealed the remainder of the club’s 25-man roster makeup late last Thursday, the public relations department of the Dodgers announced the official Opening Day squad on Sunday morning. There were no new changes in the latest version, but the team did report what we suspected as far as players beginning the year on the disabled list.
Right-handed pitchers Pedro Baez, Josh Ravin and Brock Stewart, left-handed pitcher Scott Kazmir and outfielder Andre Ethier were all placed on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to March 30. Reliever Yimi Garcia, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery administered last fall, was placed on the 60-day disabled list early in spring camp and is expected to miss the entirety of the 2017 campaign.
From many accounts, Báez is anticipating to perhaps return the soonest, while the fan-favorite Ethier is expected to have his back reevaluated a few days after the season opener. Pundits predict that Stewart could possibly miss up to a month or more before joining the Triple-A Oklahoma City starting rotation.
Speaking of injuries, it’s certainly safe to assume that shortstop Corey Seager is fully healthy and ready to go after playing five innings against the Angels in the Freeway Series on Saturday evening. Seager went 2-for-3 on the night with two singles, and scored on Justin Turner‘s long ball in the bottom of the first frame.
“It’s always nice to play with everybody,” Seager told Andy McCullough of the LA Times. “That’s the only thing that you miss out on, not playing, getting to know everybody, getting back in the lineup with everybody, just feeling everything out.”
The lineup that Roberts ran out on Saturday night is likely very similar to the one he’ll utilize against right-handed pitchers early in the season. The biggest difference against southpaw pitching will be the presence of lefty killer Franklin Gutierrez, in addition to the occasional start from utility men Scott Van Slyke and Enrique Hernandez. It’s been speculated that speedster Andrew Toles may leadoff against right-handed pitching, while Logan Forsythe could bat first against southpaws, at least in the beginning of the season.
Roberts also indicated that right-fielder Yasiel Puig will appear towards the bottom of the order early in the year, citing the need to improve his swing mechanics and plate discipline as the primary reasons behind his decision. Roberts added that the two most important things about the batting orders are his players being open to hitting wherever they see their name on the lineup card, and the middle of the order being capable of driving in the majority of runners who get on base.
In other news, former closer and 2003 NL Cy Young winner Eric Gagne is discussing a minor-league deal with the Dodgers. The 41-year-old righty told the media on Saturday that he has interest from two other teams as well, but is focused on receiving a deal from Los Angeles.
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