While many thought the NLCS roster of the Dodgers would be almost identical to the squad which captured the Division Series in a three-game sweep over the Diamondbacks, the club announced several changes on Saturday morning, most notably the exclusion of shortstop Corey Seager, who has been suffering from back problems.
As there are conceivably several different factors which may influence the management crew of the Dodgers when selecting the prospective roster for the upcoming NLCS, one can only presume that the majority of the squad chosen for the Division Series will stay intact—a formula which convincingly did its job in a three-game sweep over the Diamondbacks.
The Los Angeles Dodgers announced their 2017 NLDS roster to oppose the Diamondbacks on Friday morning, and we here at Think Blue Planning Committee predicted it pretty well.
As it’s been nearly two weeks since we published our initial projections of the Dodgers‘ roster for the 2017 NLDS, several circumstances have transpired which in turn have shed some light on the squad which will take the field at Dodger Stadium on October 6.
The final series of the regular season in Colorado has been nothing short of action-packed, to say the least. The offense of the Dodgers has once again been showing some signs of waking up in critical situations, and the relief corps has proven that it’s capable of taming one of the hottest offenses on the senior circuit. Yet, among all these exciting twists and turns, there are still a few playoff roster spots up for grabs. One of the vacancies which has seemingly been garnering the most attention among those familiar with the club is the final spot in the Dodgers’ bullpen.
All week long, most of the discussions around the Dodgers blogosphere have been surrounding the impending 25-man roster for the upcoming NLDS. While the majority of the key decisions certainly have already been made, there are a few spots which have come down to the final series of the regular season, with a few of them involving the prospective starting rotation and bullpen. Unfortunately for the pitchers doing the auditioning, Coors Field isn’t exactly the ideal spot to plead a case.
While the playoff roster for the NLDS is shaping up relatively quickly, the prospective roles of the players who’ll make the squad are still somewhat undefined. The management team and the coaching staff of the Dodgers still have plenty of decisions on their hands, and determining the planned usage of southpaws Alex Wood and Hyun-Jin Ryu may be among the biggest.
Last week, when we initially put together our first draft of roster projections for the NLDS, we were somewhat undecided between including veteran first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and rookie utility man Kyle Farmer. As the regular season continues to dwindle away for the Dodgers, there hasn’t been much news regarding Gonzo’s back injury, yet based on the amount of playing time Gonzalez has been given lately, Farmer may have the inside track to a NLDS roster spot—at least in theory.
The Dodgers have finally clinched the division, and are one win away from reaching 100 wins this season. Their PECOTA projections was 98 wins, so in that respect they have exceeded expectations. What was not expected, however, is the makeup of the roster heading into the playoffs.
With eight games now remaining in the regular season, Dodgers‘ skipper Dave Roberts hinted to the media on Friday that he will revert to using the best possible lineups down the stretch run of the schedule, indicating that the most important matter is getting into a consistent pattern of playing good baseball, as there will be enough time for players to rest between the season finale and the beginning of the NLDS on October 6.