With less than a week to go before the start of the 2023 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers have announced their roster to start the season.
For the most part, the roster does not contain many surprises. Two additions do stand out, however.
The starting rotation including Julio Urías, Clayton Kershaw, Dustin May and Noah Syndergaard were all to be expected. But the last spot, left vacant by an ankle injury to Tony Gonsolin, was taken by Ryan Pepiot.
It came down to a decision between Pepiot and Michael Grove.
Manager Dave Roberts spoke to the media about choosing Pepiot over Grove.
“They both earned that opportunity. Probably the toughest decision we had to think through,” Roberts said. “I guess, to put it more simply, we just felt Ryan outperformed Michael this spring. … We just felt it was the right decision at this point in time.”
Roberts continued talking about the strides Pepiot has made this spring.
“He’s made huge strides,” Roberts said. “And I say that with the mechanics. The delivery is a lot more consistent. There just seems to be more clarity and things have slowed down for him. We just feel like his stuff plays at the Major League level.”
The bullpen will include Brusdar Graterol, Evan Phillips, Yency Almonte, Caleb Ferguson, Alex Vesia, Shelby Miller, Phil Bickford, and Andre Jackson. Bickford was included because he was out of options.
As for Jackson, Roberts spoke about his inclusion, as a long man.
“To have a guy that can give you 75 pitches is really meaningful,” Roberts said. “Andre has earned the opportunity to be the length guy on our roster.”
Catchers will be Austin Barnes and Will Smith.
The infield will consist of Freddie Freeman, Miguel Vargas, Miguel Rojas, and Max Muncy. Chris Taylor is continue his utility roll, and J.D. Martinez will be the DH.
Outfielders are Mookie Betts, David Peralta, Trayce Thompson, Jason Heyward and James Outman.
Many fans had been hoping that Outman would make the Opening Day roster, as he showed out throughout Spring Training.
In addition to naming the roster, Julio Urías has been named the Opening Day starter.
“Obviously it’s another accomplishment in my career, I’m very happy and thankful to the team for the opportunity,” Urias said in Spanish of his Opening Day assignment.
“With the talent in our rotation, it’s an important role. That they’ve chosen me, I was really thankful and happy.”
“I think he’s earned this opportunity,” Roberts said. “He’s checked a lot of boxes and this is one of the last for him and something that from his teammates to all of us we’re excited for him to have this.”
The Dodgers will open the season Thursday, March 30 against the Arizona Diamondbacks at 7pm EST.
13 thoughts on “Dodgers 26-Man Roster Set”
Jason Heyward also? And Alex Vesia.
Can’t wait for Thursday. I have no problems with any of the guys on the 26-man roster. Some will play their way off in the first couple of months and will be replaced by others who are doing well at OKC (for example, Stone, Busch, VGon, Grove). Just about the time when the bullpen goes through the annual explosion we’ll be able to add Nelson, Reyes and/or Hudson.
I do think AF will add a fairly important piece at the deadline, a Reynolds, Rosario, Adames, etc. I’m sure there will be a number of possibilities to choose from.
Nelson, Reyes or Hudson. God help us. And I agree we will be looking for 3 outfielders and a shortstop. And probably a DH. Let the show begin!!
And they all need to be under 25, right? 🙂
Pretty much Jeff. My point has always been, that there is always room even on a very good team for a real prospect (ie seager, belli, Smith, urias and Buehler) but it’s hard to find a spot for career minor leaguers like Outman, Busch, grove, knack, Gonzales, hernandez. It’s why they sign retreads like Thompson, Peralta, Heyward every year. It’s not really my rule, it’s just the way it works. The dodgers know this, it just confuses the rest of us. My real rule is liston to what they do, not what they say.
I like the decision to include Outman. Hopefully putting him on the roster signals their intent to play him. Letting him sit on the bench would not be logical.
Doc more or less said the same thing. Indicated that Outman would get some decent playing time or they wouldn’t have added him to the roster.
Now, let’s see if he follows through on that.
He tends to play the veterans so I am hoping he allows Outman enough at bats to get acclimated. Vargas also it’s a very long season let the guys play.
Covid changed the age situation as they lost almost two years. Plus draft choices are going to college and start out older going through the Farm System. Outman has progressed quickly. The other dynamic with the Dodgers is their 26 man roster is usually packed so talented young players do not get the chance.
I believe several of the Dodgers young pitchers would be in playing with other clubs.
Scouts rave about Busch’s swing. Would he be playing for a less talented team? Probably How about Stone or Miller??
Jeff D. mentioned the addition of players at the deadline. There is a trade I think the Dodgers should make if they can. Trade one/some of their quality minor league pieces for one of the Yankees two highly regarded prospect shortstops. The Yankees need pitching. Good fit.
I had exactly the same thought recently, Waldo.
The Yanks have Volpe and Peraza and we have Bobby Miller and Gavin Stone.
Personally, I’m not trading Stone for anyone, but I would consider trading Miller.
I’m guessing the Yankees wouldn’t trade Volpe at this point (he had a very good ST) but might consider trading Peraza for the right player or players.
Peraza is considered the better fielding shortstop but baseball experts seem to value Volpe higher overall. The guess is that if they both become long term Yankee fixtures, Volpe will move to 2B.
I just checked the Baseball Simulator which, although a fun exercise, I think is somewhat flawed in its value assignments. They list the four above players with the following approximate values:
Stone – 22
Peraza – 27
Miller – 37
Volpe – 53
The Yankees are losing pitchers to injury on a daily basis (Severino today). Maybe Andrew should at least make a call.
The problem with our shortstop situation is that we might be OK with Rojas for a year or so, but there is no guarantee that Lux will be able to play the position when he returns and we don’t have any viable prospects anywhere close to the majors. That tells me AF will do something, but when and with whom is anyone’s guess.
Dodgers possibly lose Urias in 24 and I doubt Thor resigns. We do not know how long Kershaw will pitch. Is Buehler back and effective in 24? Its his second surgery. I think Stone, Miller and Pepiot might make it into the rotation in 24.
Recovery from ACL surgery has progressed significantly in recent years. I am going to guess Lux will return to SS. Daughter is a PT works will several top rated athletes that recently returned from ACL and the rehab has evolved. The benchmark is a year to two years depending on a lot of factors and each individual person is of course different.
I doubt because of the uncertainty in the rotation in 24 they trade the top 3. Do they go after Ohtani? Is he going to be priced out of what the Dodgers will sign? We hear the Mets mentioned but don’t forget SF the Giants have money. The Giants need to make a splash after striking out this year.
Fun to speculate but AF tends to surprise.
Valid point, about the uncertainty of next year’s rotation possibly keeping AF from trading any of the better pitching prospects, but as you say, he tends to surprise.
The Ohtani Derby will have a number of teams participating. I would expect he’ll sign the largest contract ever, but he might not necessarily go to the highest bidder. He’ll go where he wants to be geographically and where he feels comfortable, assuming that there isn’t a huge difference in the bids.