Listening to the Dodgers radio broadcast yesterday, Rick Monday said something that piqued my interest. He said that he thought Chris Taylor might have a better chance making the 25-man roster because he was there, in camp, showing his hustle. Meanwhile, Enrique Hernandez was playing with the Team Puerto Rico, and not being seen or evaluated by the front office and coaching staff.
As many media outlets of the Dodgers have already ventured some sort of guess regarding the Opening Day 25-man roster, most are in agreement that there’s a good chance the club elects to carry a traditional seven-man bullpen to begin the season. But although there haven’t been many hints by management in terms of a preferred direction, an eight-man relief corps is certainly still in the realm of possibility.
Now that a full week has passed since the Dodgers began their 2017 Cactus League campaign, we thought it may be a good time to revisit several of the roster battles that we’ve been discussing since the squad began taking shape earlier in the winter.
If there’s a single area of the Dodgers as a whole that we haven’t spoken much about over the winter, it’s undeniably the crew which makes up the infield. While there are tons of good things to say regarding each player, not many negative aspects exist. At the end of the day, on paper at least, this group could very easily be considered among the best in the game on both sides of the ball.
Continuing to break down multiple areas of the Dodgers‘ roster in the days leading to the onset of spring camp, we now move on to the bench portion of the squad, most specifically outlining which players could see significant playing time as versatile utility pieces.
Although it probably felt as if the search for a second baseman lost all momentum when talks surrounding Brian Dozier eventually fizzled, the front office crew of the Dodgers is outwardly busier than ever, considering all conceivable options as the countdown to spring camp now stands at a mere 25 days.
(Photo Credit: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
As there’s exactly 30 days remaining before pitchers and catchers show up for spring camp in Glendale, the Dodgers have only two left-handed hitting second base options that are anywhere near the big league level—Willie Calhoun, who hasn’t even gotten his feet wet at the Triple-A, and Jose Miguel Fernandez, a Cuban infielder who signed last week for $200,000 and probably hasn’t yet arrived stateside. In the meantime, Chase Utley is still lurking in the dark corners of the free agent market, while many fans of the Boys in Blue continue to wonder if he’ll be part of the squad in 2017.
(Photo Credit: Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports)
While many fans of the Dodgers may think it’s entirely too early to think about secondary infield depth, it very well could be a significant issue for the management crew heading into spring training, as pitchers and catchers are officially scheduled to report in exactly eight weeks. Just imagine if the team had not yet reached an agreement with Justin Turner already—the void at the hot corner heading into 2017 would have been a jumble of mass chaos, especially considering the question marks at second base.
(Photo Credit: mlb.com)
While it’s entirely too early in the offseason to consider potential batting orders and lineups, it’s definitely not out of line to think about prospective ingredients for the 25-man roster, as the first few moves of the winter promise to dictate which direction the Dodgers will be heading as far as assembling player personnel.
“Yes, I’m stuck in the middle with you,
And I’m wondering what it is I should do
It’s so hard to keep this smile from my face,
Losing control, and I’m all over the place”