There’s only 10 days left until the Dodgers open up the 2019 season against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and although the roster has yet to be finalized, we have a pretty good idea of who is going to make the Opening Day roster.
On Friday, we talked about Brad Miller, and if he would be this year’s Chris Taylor or Max Muncy. It may be difficult for him to make the Opening Day roster, however. If the Dodgers are going with 12 position players, they would be Muncy, Taylor, Russell Martin, Austin Barnes, Enrique Hernandez, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger, A.J. Pollock, Joc Pederson, David Freese and Alex Verdugo.
Where it gets a little iffy is the rest of the pitching staff. Tony Cingrani was shut down for at least a few weeks due to shoulder soreness, so he will most likely start the season on the DL. That leaves two spots open for Caleb Ferguson, Ross Stripling, Julio Urías, and/or Yimi Garcia.
“It just gives other guys opportunities,” manager Dave Roberts told reporters previously, talking about Cingrani’s injury. “The main thing with Julio, we want to continue to build him up. With where our starters are built up, namely Clayton and Walker, the length that Julio gives us makes sense. And Caleb, to build him up, which we’re trying to do, to give us more length, makes him a better fit for our roster as well.”
While Urías has seen time out of the bullpen, he ultimately is a starter, and he is being slow played this year as he is continuing to work his way back from his surgery. The team would like him to be ready for the end of the season, and not necessarily the beginning. They should just stick to that, and leave him out of this equation for now.
With the uncertainty and lack up buildup of innings for both Kershaw and Buehler, Stripling should make the team as their backup. (Part of me thinks that they should go with a six man rotation, at least to start the season, but that is another topic for another day). Also, with Kershaw and Buehler not having their innings yet built up, the Dodgers will need to rely on both Ferguson and Stripling for long relief to start the season.
As always, however, what the Dodgers are blessed with is an excess of more-than-capable players waiting in the wings. And if the likes of Miller, Gonsolin and others don’t start the season in Los Angeles, if they continue to play like they have so far in spring training, they will be up in the big leagues soon enough.