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.
As there’s still the matters of wrapping up the division, vying for home-field advantage, and putting together some much-needed continuity inside the final nine games of the regular season, many fans of the Dodgers can’t help but look ahead and wonder which players will be called upon for the 25-man roster when the postseason arrives in just a few short weeks.
In just a little under three weeks, the Dodgers will embark on yet another postseason journey, with this year’s aspirations the highest they’ve been in recent years. The Los Angeles management crew will certainly have a difficult task in store when assembling the club’s prospective playoff roster, as a number of different factors will come into play for the squad selected to begin the NLDS on October 6.
As the month of September is now upon us, and despite the foregone conclusion that the Dodgers will capture their fifth consecutive NL West division crown in the coming weeks, there really hasn’t been much discussion about a prospective playoff roster. Subjectively, it’s probably a lot better that way, because the next four weeks will be an audition of sorts for some areas of the roster, and the bullpen is shaping up to be a place that’s potentially loaded with surprises.
At the beginning of 2017 spring training, the bullpen of the Los Angeles Dodgers appeared as if it was in outstanding shape, especially in terms of having several quality lefty arms at its disposal. However, as the season began to take shape, so did the landscape of the relief corps. Grant Dayton was never quite the same as he was in 2016, and eventually fell victim to a ligament tear, which would ultimately end his season. Adam Liberatore, who was one of several workhorses in the relief crew last year, was hampered by injuries for most of the current campaign. And Luis Avilan, well, is Luis Avilan.
While the dust has finally settled on top of the Washington Nationals and the NLDS, the Dodgers have turned the page to the next chapter of the 2016 postseason by announcing the 25-man roster for the seven-game championship series against the Cubs on Saturday morning.
While it came as a big surprise to many fans that Dave Roberts and the Dodgers‘ management crew decided to reveal the club’s 25-man 2016 NLDS roster three days ahead of schedule, perhaps the most unexpected news was the fact that the squad included a total of seven rookies.
(Update: On Tuesday evening, Dave Roberts revealed to media that Dodgers will carry three catchers on NLDS roster, meaning Austin Barnes will be on 25-man. He also said Charlie Culberson has made roster, while Enrique Hernandez will be sent back to Arizona to stay hot. Julio Urias will be Dodgers Game 4 starter if Kershaw doesn’t come back on short rest. Seven-man bullpen will consist of Jansen, Blanton, Baez, Dayton, Fields, Avilan and Stripling.)
If Julio Urias can find a way to impress team management in his start against the Padres on Thursday night in San Diego, he’ll probably be included on the Dodgers‘ 25-man roster for the first round of the NLDS, setting him up to be the potential starter in Game 4.