Dodgers Roster: How Will Outfield Shape Up for 2022 Postseason?

While the Los Angeles starting rotation and bullpen will likely see many significant changes over the next six weeks, the position player portion of the roster could be relatively set.

Sure, there could be a few arguments made for the inclusion of someone like James Outman — or Miguel Vargas, who can play a little outfield — but unless someone goes extremely cold or another injury occurs, the outfielders on the roster right now may be the ones we see come October.

If the team decides to give Edwin Rios a big league shot when he’s healthy enough to return from the injured list in the coming weeks, it could throw a wrench into the outfield landscape because he’d need to take a position player’s spot. Joey Gallo sticks out as that player because he’s a lefty hitter and the team doesn’t really need him for defense. However, the club could just as easy keep Rios in the minors unless he’s needed as an injury replacement, specifically as a hitter and not so much as a third baseman or infielder.

What’s likely to occur, though, is activating Rios once the roster expand to 28 players on September 1, setting up a serious audition for about three or four position players for a single postseason roster spot.

Anyway, the bigger question here is which players will make up the primary outfield core and see the most playing time.

Aside from Mookie Betts, there probably isn’t a concrete answer at this point of the season. We would like to think that Cody Bellinger is the primary centerfielder, especially for his defensive prowess. Yet, when you consider his paltry .210/.267/.402 slash line, it makes you wonder if he’s worth keeping around for just his defense.

Bellinger has shown some power, and the crazy thing is that as soon as the majority of the fan base is about ready to give up on him, he has a breakout game, leading some to believe he’s about ready to emerge as his former self from several years back.

And, even though Chris Taylor will certainly be a part of the postseason roster for his versatility, one can argue that Trayce Thompson should be on the field as much as possible. Even though Thompson hasn’t been a regular since the return of Taylor and the acquisition of Gallo, he still continues to produce just about every chance he’s given.

Just as much as Gavin Lux has almost locked down the primary second base spot, Thompson could be well on his way to securing the regular left fielder’s spot.

Of course, if it’s up to skipper Dave Roberts, he’d tell you there are no “regulars” on the team aside from Mookie, Freddie Freeman, Trea Turner and Will Smith. However, teams often benefit from a bit of regularity when the playoffs roll around rather than basing every night’s lineup on a righty/lefty hitting matchup.

If he continues to produce, Trayce Thompson could be one of those regular guys.

What Role Will Dustin May Play During 2022 Stretch Run?

Dustin May will join the Dodgers soon. The right-hander is expected to make his season debut next week against the Marlins. May has been out since early last season with Tommy John surgery.

Part of the reason there wasn’t a tremendous sense of urgency among Dodger fans to trade for Luis Castillo or Pablo Lopez at the trade deadline was due to the players the Dodgers were expecting to return from injury.

In three seasons with the Dodges, the 24-year-old May has posted a 2.93 ERA and started some crucial postseason games in the 2020 World Championship run.

May made five rehab starts in the minors across multiple levels. In 16 innings pitched, he only gave up three runs. He struck out a whopping 26 batters and allowed only ten hits.

It is good to get May back, especially at this point of the season when the rotation has a few question marks.

But what exactly will his role be going forward? One problem the Dodgers have is figuring out roster spots. But come postseason time, you’ll have to see who’s in and who’s out. One advantage for May is that he already has big-time playoff experience.

Depending on health, May’s role with the team may change. If the team struggles with starting pitching, he may very well start a couple of games in the postseason. But the role May is headed towards is similar to the one Urias went by in 2020.

The Dodgers can not go into one-run games in October with Craig Kimbrel as their closer. If the Dodgers somehow fail to win a World Series because of Kimbrel, it would be very disappointing.

The bullpen should get Blake Treinen back come playoff time; Danny Duffy, who still has to throw a pitch in a Dodger uniform, is rehabbing.

Enter Dustin May; imagine May as your postseason closer. That may very well be the perfect role for him. Obviously, with May, you don’t want him pitching a boatload of innings right after his injury, as it could be better to ease him in.

May could close, and he could go more than an inning if needed. Andrew Heaney and Clayton Kershaw have landed on the injured list multiple times this year so anything can change at any given moment.

Walker Buehler should also return before the season ends, so there will be this influx of arms with only a few available spots come October. But for May, he should be able to cement himself in either a long relief role or alternate closer come playoff time.

Dodgers Injury Notes: Brusdar Graterol, Edwin Rios, Blake Treinen and More

Imagine if you’re a major league manager and your GM tells you there’s an influx of player additions coming in mid-August without even needing to sacrifice any of your organization’s top prospects.
That’s exactly the position the Dodgers are in after standing pat at a busy 2022 tradeline, keeping nearly the entirely of their farm system intact.

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How Will Dodgers Make Room for Chris Taylor?

With most of baseball’s current news surrounding Tuesday’s summer trade deadline, the Dodgers find themselves in somewhat of a unique position because of the potential influx of players returning from the injured list.

For weeks now, it seems like we’ve been discussing player returns from the pitching perspective — see players like Blake Treinen, Dustin May and Brusdar Graterol — however, many of us have forgotten about some of the position players who could provide an impact upon their returns, specifically super-utility man Chris Taylor.

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Dodgers Activate Andrew Heaney, Jake Reed

The Dodgers on Wednesday morning activated lefty starting pitcher Andrew Heaney and righty reliver Jake Reed ahead of Wednesday’s finale against the Nationals at Dodger Stadium.

To make room on the active roster, the team optioned pitchers Mitch White and Garrett Cleavinger.

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Trayce Thompson Has Made the Most of His Opportunity

When Mookie Betts went down earlier this season with cracked ribs, the Dodgers were looking for help with a right-handed bat in the outfield. Several names were thrown around, and eventually, the team settled on Trayce Thompson from the Detroit Tigers for cash considerations.

A familiar name among Dodger fans, the 31-year-old Thompson returned to his second stint in L.A. after bouncing around the league for a couple of seasons. At first, it seemed he’d be a fill-in until Betts returned.

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Dodgers Place Brusdar Graterol on Injured List, Recall Reyes Moronta

According to a team statement, the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday afternoon, recalled right-handed pitcher Reyes Moronta after placing right-handed pitcher Brusdar Graterol on the injured list with right shoulder inflammation, backdated to July 11.

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David Price Trade Rumors and Ryan Pepiot’s Potential MLB Debut

After sweeping the Chicago Cubs, the Los Angeles Dodgers dropped the opening game of a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday. The loss ended their six-game winning streak, as well as a 16-game winning streak against the Pirates. Such games are bound to happen, especially in an early game after a long flight.

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