Aside from one final spot in the bullpen, the Dodgers have announced the bulk of their 25-man roster for Opening Day against the Diamondbacks next Thursday.
By using simple deduction and heeding to a few hints dropped by skipper Dave Roberts over the past few days, the squad has finally neared its completion.
Other than the spots which were created as a result of injured players, our early roster projections were right on the nose. Of course, there’s still time for some kind of injury to come into play before the opener, but overall, the club appears to be relatively healthy at the moment.
Staff ace Clayton Kershaw, veteran starter Rich Hill and lefty reliever Tony Cingrani will begin the season on the injured list. All of those spots are retroactive to a date before March 28, should the Dodgers decide to bring back any of the trio before 10 days elapse after the season has begun.
A.J. Pollock, Joc Pederson, Cody Bellinger and Alex Verdugo will make-up the primary outfield, while Bellinger is also expected to see a significant amount of time at first base. According to some opinions, one of the main platoons on the team to begin the season will be in left field between Pederson and Chris Taylor. Taylor is also expected to assume the super-utility role for 2019, moving between all the outfield spots, second, short and third base.
The infield will consist of Max Muncy, Enrique Hernandez, Justin Turner, Corey Seager and David Freese. Roberts confirmed on Saturday that Hernandez is expected to see the bulk of the playing time at the keystone, at least to begin the season.
The starting rotation is Hyun-Jin Ryu, Ross Stripling, Kenta Maeda, Walker Buehler and Julio Urias—in that order. Boss Andrew Friedman told reporters on Friday that Urias will remain in the rotation only until Hill is ready to return from an MCL strain.
“I would say internally right now as I sit here Brock and Dennis are probably the guys,” Roberts explained. “You’re expecting Rich to be back shortly after the season starts so to kind of have some length potential for a shorter time those two guys make the most sense.”
Seemingly, Urias will shift to the bullpen when Hill is ready to return.
Additionally, the team has not ruled out the acquisition of another reliever from the outside.