Dodgers Spring Training Injury and Roster Updates

In a surprise to no one, the Los Angeles Dodgers have named Clayton Kershaw their Opening Day starter.

Kershaw will start the 2021 season off for the Dodgers at Coors Field against the Colorado Rockies. Thought was given to having Kershaw line up to start the home opener against the Washington Nationals, but ultimately it was decided that Kershaw would be allowed to fully participate in the Dodgers World Series ring ceremony that will take place before the game that day.

“We all talked collectively,” Manager Dave Roberts said. “There’s really no wrong decision, I feel just that he’s earned it, he’s the right guy for the spot for 2021. For every reason, I just think it makes the most sense.”

This will be the ninth Opening Day start for Kershaw, who missed the last two seasons’ openers due to injury. He is 5-1 with a 1.05 ERA though his eight Opening Day starts.

On the injury front, there are updates on a few Dodgers who have yet to see action in Spring Training games.

Cody Bellinger is set to make his Cactus League debut on Tuesday, when he will play centerfield. Bellinger is recovering from shoulder surgery over the offseason. Roberts said that Bellinger’s batting stance is “a little more open” than where he finished the season last year.

Joe Kelly is seemingly progressing, but probably at too slow of a pace to be on the Opening Day roster. Roberts had stated previously that Kelly would need to see time in some in Cactus League games before making the determination, but no date for that to happen has been announced.

Brusdar Graterol also has yet to pitch in a Cactus League game, but is still said to be progressing faster than Kelly.

The first round of cuts happened on Monday. 28 players were either optioned or reassigned to minor league camp.

Catcher Keibert Ruiz, outfielders Zach Reks and Luke Raley, and pitchers Alex Vesia, Gerardo Carrillo, Andre Jackson and Edwin Uceta were all optioned.

The following players were reassigned to minor league camp:

With the camp roster now sitting at 45, the remaining players will get more playing time, although those sent to the minor league side can still appear in Cactus League games. Notable Non-Roster Invites still in camp include Jimmy Nelson, Brandon Morrow, Mike Kickham, James Pazos, Enny Romero and Matt Davidson.

Teams have reached the point in Spring Training were all games will now be nine innings, and teams are no longer allowed to roll over innings if a pitcher is amassing too many pitches in an inning. This happened to Julio Urías in Sunday’s game. He was removed from the first inning after throwing 29 pitches, having struck out three and leaving the bases loaded. His defense had not helped him out very much. He did re-enter the game to pitch the second inning, eventually allowing a walk in the third inning before he was done for the evening.

The Dodgers have four day games this week before an evening game on Friday. The team will not have another off day until March 24.

4 thoughts on “Dodgers Spring Training Injury and Roster Updates

  1. It will be interesting to see where some of the more advanced prospects are sent to start the year, OKC or Tulsa. Knowing Andrew, there will be quite a shuttle system between LA and OKC this year.

    Nelson certainly didn’t do anything to hurt his chances last night. If he keeps this up he’ll be a strong addition to the roster. I wonder if Doc would be tempted to put him in the starting rotation and move Price or Urias to the bullpen as the other lefty along with V-Gon. None of the other southpaws in camp have done much to distinguish themselves so far.

    With Barnes and CT3 as sure things, that leaves either 2 or 3 spots still open for position player subs. The field seems to be narrowed down to Rios, Beaty, ZacMac and The Big Noise. It would be a surprise to see Rios optioned at this point, so that leaves the other three battling for 1 or 2 spots. I don’t see Davidson as an option at this point although he still has two weeks to force himself on to the roster.

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    1. Just realized I totally forgot about DJ Peters. I really don’t expect him to make the OD roster because he’s only had half a season at AAA and he won’t be helped by being a bench player here and only getting limited at bats during the season. He needs to play every day and that would best be done at OKC.

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      1. I think it’s Rios, Beaty, and ZacMac. Depending on need Peters first one back from OKC. Peters has helped himself he has had a good spring. Ruiz has been slowed as he was late into camp. In my humble opinion, the Big Noise & Davidson are decent players but it takes more than that to crack this Dodger line-up.
        Nelson has made a case for himself. What a nice problem to have! In an interview, Doc says Morrow still working on strength so will be either off-site or OKC?
        I am a bit concerned with Muncy he is not getting around or fouling off pitches he normally hits a bit like last year.
        Hoping Seager bottles some of that for the regular season. Hot Hot Hot…

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  2. Not sure there was ever a roster spot contest on the position side. Rios is a lock and ZacMac is also a lock until Lux can show he belongs in the bigs. No one else to play second unless they want to tie down ct3, which i dont think they do. That leaves one spot and i suspect that spot is Beaty”s to lose.

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