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 Roster: Is an 8-Man Bullpen the Best Route to Success?

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(Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

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.

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Will a Healthy Trayce Thompson Contend for Dodgers’ 25-Man Roster?

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(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

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.

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Dodgers Roster: Outlining the Battles that Could Go Down to the Wire

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(Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri/USA TODAY Sports)

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.

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Dodgers 25-Man Roster: Who’s Backing Up First Base?

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One of several highlights during Tuesday’s annual Cactus League media day occurred when GM Farhan Zaidi suggested that the Dodgers intend to find more days off for first baseman Adrian Gonzalez over the course of the regular season.

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Dodgers Trade Rumors: Could a Spring Blockbuster Benefit Current Roster Makeup?

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After outlining our intermediate 25-man roster projections yesterday, one notion that came to mind straight away was considering how the Dodgers might benefit from a potential deal with another club — in effect, adding another productive piece to an already very deep 40-man roster.

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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 Roster: A Positive Outlook for the 2017 Outfield Crew

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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.

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

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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: 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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