Dodgers Roster: More Thoughts on Potential Postseason Roles

25 games might be the ideal amount of time to prepare for a postseason run in terms of deciding roles, resting starting pitchers and looking at players who previously may not have been considered.

But those 25 days could also be a potential pitfall if any injuries occur to a key player.

We have a pretty good idea which players will make up the core of the Dodgers’ postseason roster, but the roles they play might be a different story.

It’s tough to say which approach manager Dave Roberts and his front-office bosses might take, as we’ve seen them prefer to use players based on handedness or matchups in the past, while they’ve also stuck with veterans and proven performers regardless of those matchups.

We can look everywhere around the park, and aside from Freddie Freeman, Mookie Betts, Trea Turner and Will Smith, playing time at almost every other spot is up for grabs.

The starting rotation is especially interesting. We know that Julio Urias should be the No. 1 guy, but the bigger question is how the team should use him down the stretch of the regular season to prepare for that role. Should they work him every sixth day, using him for just a handful of innings to keep him loose? Or should they use him with no restrictions, ensuring the work rate that has made him so successful all year is not interrupted?

The same relative theory applies to veteran Clayton Kershaw, although fans are probably holding their collective breath that an injury does not occur, causing the team to use openers and bullpen games that did not work so well for them in the playoffs in recent years.

Righty starter Tony Gonsolin continues to ride the roller coaster of recovery. One day, he’s playing catch and throwing without restrictions, and the next the prognosis gets worse. The last we heard, he could have enough time to build up for the playoffs, even though his forearm is healing much slower than expected.

We’ll likely see pitchers like Dustin May bumped back to the bullpen by the time the playoffs roll around, assuming the spots of more questionable arms like Heath Hembree.

If we don’t bank on Gonsolin and we assume May moves into the relief crew, that gives us a starting rotation foundation of Urias, Kershaw and Tyler Anderson with some lingering thoughts of Andrew Heaney.

Obviously, that’s a lot of speculation, but an all-lefty trio for the NLDS has a good chance of happening at this point. Over the next few weeks, it should be interesting to see if management takes a conservative approach to guard against injury or make an all-out effort to secure home-field advantage throughout the postseason.

4 thoughts on “Dodgers Roster: More Thoughts on Potential Postseason Roles

  1. It’s so easy to question Roberts on his moves. So he is forgiven on Muncy sitting since it has been revealed that he is nursing a knee injury.
    But how in the world do you put Hembree with an ERA north of 6 out there to pitch the 10th. Better spot for Vesia or Phillips.

  2. Heaney has been pitching his way off the roster since he returned. Dodger pitching coaches have been the pitcher whisperers so perhaps they can find a way to help him. Hanging pitches which has been his history throughout his career despite his amazing spin rates is not conducive to quality starts especially for the playoffs.

  3. Two chances for Hembree to make the post season roster, slim and nonexistent. I think May will be a starter, they need four, and with his propensity to give up the long ball, Heaney does not seem like an option right now. Gonsolin might be ready and he might not. We will see. Vargas is the only position player on the roster with little or no chance of making the post season 26. Now, once they clinch, I am betting Roberts plays him more and rests some of the regulars.

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