More Updates on Prospective Opening Day Roster

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(Photo Credit: Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports)

With less than a full week before the beginning of the 2021 season, more hints are being revealed regarding the makeup of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Opening Day roster, including the pitching rotation order that will throw against the Rockies.

While we still don’t know who the club’s fifth starter will be, we were told that Clayton Kershaw, Trevor Bauer, Walker Buehler, and Julio Urias will throw in the opening series in Denver, in that order, leaving the fifth starting spot up for grabs between veteran David Price, Dustin May, and Tony Gonsolin.

On Friday, José discussed the comeback trail of 31-year-old righty Jimmy Nelson, who will indeed dress for Opening Day as part of the Los Angeles relief corps.

Another thing we learned of late is that the club will carry 13 pitchers and 13 position players, eliminating the speculation for which players are on the bubble for the club’s final bench spots.

Both outfielder DJ Peters and utility man Sheldon Neuse were among the team’s most recent cuts, essentially assuring that utility men Matt Beaty and Zach McKinstry will both have spots on the team’s active roster.

The bullpen, though, is an entirely different animal. Perhaps the biggest question to ask is whether the odd men out between Price, May and Gonsolin will throw out of the big-league bullpen, or whether at least one of those pitchers will begin the season at Triple-A Oklahoma City, continuing to stretch out in a starter’s role.

Last weekend, we discussed Price’s potential inclusion among the relief crew, outlining his most recent appearances out of the bullpen. Accordingly, both May and Gonsolin are no strangers to throwing in relief, either.

Consequently, with young righty Mitch White somewhat slowed by a shoulder impingement at the beginning of spring camp, it might leave Josiah Gray, Andre Jackson, Edwin Uceta, Gerardo Carrillo, and Yadier Alvarez as some of the possible headliners at OKC, should all three of Price, May, and Gonsolin be included on the big-league roster.

As far as the final bullpen spot goes, it could boil down to whether the team intends on carrying one or two lefty relivers, setting up a battle between lefty Scott Alexander and righty Dennis Santana . However, that assumption is also based on the idea that Price, May, and Gonsolin all make the team.

To start the year, the Dodgers could conceivably have two key relievers on the 10-day injured list, joining Tommy Kahnle and Caleb Ferguson on the 60-day. Those candidates are Joe Kelly and Brusdar Graterol, with Graterol reportedly not being too far away from being ready.

Newcomer Corey Knebel was removed from Friday’s contest after he was hit by a comebacker in the mid-section, but manager Dave Roberts didn’t sound too concerned about the issue. The righty reliever is expected to pitch during the Freeway Series and should be ready for the regular season.

4 thoughts on “More Updates on Prospective Opening Day Roster

  1. The consensus was always Beatty and McKinstry for the two roster spots up for grabs with Peters and Neuse going to OKC. Bear had predicted early on that if Nelson were healthy he could make the roster and Nelson has had an impressive Spring. Watching May a few days ago he can be incredibly impressive but unless he makes the rotation is he better off in OKC getting regular starts?
    Clevinger got ripped today as did Kershaw yesterday. Roberts likes experienced guys so I think Alexander makes the last spot for now. The Dodgers have so much talent it’s hard to make the last cuts. I am still concerned about Muncy and Bellinger. Neither of them is catching up to pitches they should hit. Muncy has been especially off. Bellinger we know is rehabbing from his shoulder surgery, But there has been a hole in the middle of the line-up with both Muncy and Bellinger being off.
    New start once the season opens. Hoping the Dodgers make a fast start out in Denver.

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  2. If Price starts the year in the bullpen they have their two lefties (VGon being the other one), although that doesn’t mean they couldn’t have three and still include Alexander. If Price is the 5th starter I think that would assure Alexander’s being picked as the last guy. I’m guessing it’s going to be Alexander in either case but it will be interesting to see who gets sent to OKC when Graterol is ready.

    Gray has been knocked around in his last two appearances. Hopefully he’ll get untracked at OKC.

    Looks like old friend Josh Sborz has made the Rangers bullpen corps.

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      1. Bauer knows the name of the game is entertainment and there isn’t any reason you can’t fool around in ST as long as you get your work in. Made a totally unimportant game worth watching for awhile.

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