Dodgers 25-Man Roster Notes: Taylor, Hernandez, Thompson, Toles & More

Just one week now before the Dodgers start the regular season, and we are a little closer to knowing the final 25-man roster. Dennis wrote a story yesterday about the state of the starting pitchers. That may have become a little bit more clear, with the outcome of Scott Kazmir‘s most recent outing. Manager Dave Roberts today confirmed that Kazmir will start the season on the DL, dealing with issues in his left hip.

The battle for utility player is still very much alive. Enrique Hernandez is seeing more playing time now that he has returned from the WBC. Whether he can outshine all that Chris Taylor has been able to do during spring training while he was gone remains to be seen. Hernandez may have a advantage over Taylor in the field, as Hernandez is better in center. There’s no denying how hot Taylor’s bat has been, and he’s been excellent on defense in the infield. The other player in the mix is Charlie Culberson, who is not currently on the 40-man roster. However, the 40-man is only at 39 players currently, so Culberson could be added to it if needed.

Rob Segedin and Scott Van Slyke are also battling for a spot on the roster. Van Slyke has been making a real push lately, with two stolen bases in yesterday’s game alone. Segedin is also making it interesting, with his .407/.448/.889/1.337 slash line. He also has three doubles and four home runs this spring.

One area that seems to have become more certain is Andrew Toles making the team. Andre Ethier is expected to miss time with the lower back hernia, and will not be able to start the season healthy. Roberts has previously stated that Franklin Gutierrez would make the team. Gutierrez, a right-handed hitter, was brought to Dodgers camp because of his ability to hit left-handed pitching well. Ideally, the other half of the left field platoon would be a left-handed hitter. My guess would be that SVS makes it over Segedin.

Asked about who would replace Ethier, Roberts didn’t say it necessarily had to be a lefty batter.

“But obviously you look at the roster, that’s what we envisioned” Roberts said. “But by default, it doesn’t have to be Andrew. There are guys that are having good camps and fit on a roster and are major league players. Those are decisions in discussions we will keep having.”

Trayce Thompson would be a remaining hopeful to make the team for an outfield slot, but he would also be there to face left-handed pitching, and that would not provide a good platoon with Gutierrez.

Toles had definitely made his case for making the team this spring in the batting department. He has a .340 batting average and .851 OPS, three doubles, a triple, and one home run — a grand slam in Saturday’s game. He did well at the plate last season too, going .314 in the regular season and .364 in the playoffs. It’s his fielding that has left a little to be desired. Still, has only played 48 major league games and has climbed the ranks of the Dodgers organization quickly.

“I don’t think it’s something he necessarily has to prove. He did show us a lot,” Roberts said of Toles. He went on to say, “Andrew is a major league player in my eyes.”

Four more games remain on the Cactus League schedule, before the Freeway Series with the Anaheim Angels begins this weekend. Just six short days to decide who makes the roster or not. The Dodgers have enviable depth at just about every position, and the real challenge will be for Roberts to keep all parties happy about playing time or lack there of, then move on to the goal of finally getting back to the World Series.

(FOLLOW ANDY ON TWITTER: @DODGERGIRLINPA)

 

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Dodgers Spring Training Notes: Kershaw, Roster Battles, Injuries & More

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The Dodgers looked nice and ready for Opening Day yesterday in their game against the Texas Rangers. Clayton Kershaw went for his longest outing yet, and was dominant — he struck out 11 of the 21 batters he faced in 92 pitches, allowing two hits and one walk. The prime time slot for the game last night showed MLB that its best pitcher he’s ready to go.

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Dodgers Roster: Putting Together an Outfield at Oklahoma City

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(Mandatory Credit: Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

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.

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Dodgers Lineups: One Conceivable Batting Order at Triple-A Oklahoma City

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(Mandatory Credit: Michael Spomer/Cal Sports Media)

With all the endless discussions currently in the news surrounding the prospective layouts of the club’s Opening Day 25-man roster, many fans of the Dodgers can’t help but envision the overwhelming amount of depth and skill lurking on the fringe of the bigs at Triple-A Oklahoma City. If the major league squad stays relatively healthy and productive throughout the regular season, the crew at OKC will not only possess some of the best player talent in the Pacific Coast League, but will also be almost untouchable en route to yet another American Northern divisional crown.

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Dodgers Roster: Which Player Handles the Super-Utility Role in 2017?

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(Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports)

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.

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Dodgers 25-Man Roster: Darin Ruf, Scott Van Slyke or Rob Segedin?

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(Mandatory Credit: Derik Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports)

As we prepare to compose our second edition of 2017 roster projections, three significant questions stand out which may have an impact on which players appear on the Dodgers‘ 25-man roster come Opening Day in April.

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Dodgers Roster: Who’s Backing Up Third Base?

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(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.

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Dodgers Roster: Where Does Rob Segedin Fit into the 2017 Puzzle?

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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.

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Dodgers Roster: Putting Together A Working Outfield for 2017

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(Photo Credit: Kyusung Gong/OC Register)

While it’s probably entirely too early for team management to begin piecing together roster ideas for the upcoming season, it certainly doesn’t hurt when fans begin brainstorming about areas of the squad that could eventually fall under heavy scrutiny about four months from now.

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Dodgers Impressed by Versatility of Toles, Segedin

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Andrew Toles is greeted with high-fives as he comes in to score. Jill Weisleder/Dodgers

While the Los Angeles Dodgers forge ahead and continue to build a recognizable identity surrounding their 2016 campaign, two of the club’s most recent additions, Andrew Toles and Rob Segedin, continue to impress pundits with both their defensive versatility and abilities to generate offense.

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