On a day when many folks close to the Dodgers await the outcome of an MRI on the right knee of Andrew Toles, it may be worth taking a quick moment to peek at the club’s outfield depth, if only at the majority of the players who appear to be major league ready.
So far during the young 2017 season, one of the more common lineup themes of the Dodgers has been to employ utility man Enrique Hernandez in center field against left-handed pitching, while stashing away Joc Pederson on the pine for possible appearances later in games against righty pitching, or for his skills as a defensive replacement.
Even though there’s plenty of time left in spring training for the landscape of the big league outfield to change, it’s still not difficult to make an educated guess regarding the outfield crew at Oklahoma City, as the Dodgers‘ surplus of young talent has now created a very crowded locker room at even the Triple-A level.
The exact make up of the Dodgers outfield is still unknown. Manager Dave Roberts has come out many times saying that Yasiel Puig will be starting in right field, and Joc Pederson will retain his roll in center. Left field is a bit uncertain, but look for Andre Ethier to have the starting role there. Where the real fun begins is determining who will make the team as reserves.
The answer is yes, although there’s a slim chance he’ll be among the 25 players suited up for Opening Day.
As it stands now, assuming Andre Ethier comes away from a bout of back spasms unscathed, the primary outfield crew for the Dodgers‘ big league squad will consist of Yasiel Puig and Joc Pederson, along with the 34-year-old Ethier. And according to our latest projections, newcomer Franklin Gutierrez warrants a spot based on his contract alone, while utility man Scott Van Slyke sneaks on the 25-man primarily for his ability to effectively provide cover at first base.
Just about every single year during spring camp, there’s always one or two minor league additions who find their way onto the big league fields and catch the eyes of curious fans. For the Dodgers in 2017, outfielder Henry Ramos is one of those players, and based on his usage early on, may see significant time during Cactus League play over the coming weeks.
Baseball is officially back. Although a skeleton crew of assorted players from the Dodgers has already been at Camelback Ranch for some time, most of the pitchers and catchers began to filter into the clubhouse on Wednesday morning, while the remainder of the squad will report no later than Monday. The initial workout for the battery mates will take place on Thursday morning, and the first Cactus League game will commence at 1:05 p.m. on February 25 against the White Sox.
While we’re patiently waiting for a few plausible roster fluctuations to be ironed out before we publish our intermediate round of 2017 roster projections, we thought we’d take a look at another area of the Dodgers‘ organization that will certainly have a huge impact on the success of the club this year — the outfield.
(Photo Credit: LM Otero/Associated Press)
Unlike second base, the outfield is not a place that the Dodgers need to add any players. Conversely, they have too many. So where does that leave someone like Andre Ethier coming off an injury-riddled season?