Louis or Luis? Dodgers deciding between Coleman, Avilan for final bullpen job.

Luis Avilan

Luis Avilan is in the running for the Dodgers’ final bullpen job. (Stephen Carr/Staff photographer)

The Dodgers will carry seven relief pitchers on their Opening Day roster, with the final spot belonging either to right-hander Louis Coleman or left-hander Luis Avilan, manager Dave Roberts said Friday.

Coleman has had a superlative spring, allowing two runs in 11 innings while walking none and striking out 12. He can’t be optioned to the minor leagues.

Avilan can be optioned and he’s had a rougher Cactus League statistically, with nine earned runs allowed in seven innings (an 11.57 ERA). Opponents have hit .415 against him.

So, what’s the case for Avilan?

“To have two lefties in the bullpen is a luxury,” Roberts said.

J.P. Howell is the Dodgers’ other left-handed reliever. He’s guaranteed a roster spot, but Roberts doesn’t want to over-rely on Howell, who’s made 67, 68 and 65 appearances the last three seasons respectively. Howell turns 33 on April 25 and has typically faded in September in recent years.

If Coleman is the choice, Roberts said that right-handers Yimi Garcia and Pedro Baez could be called upon to retire left-handed hitters in certain situations.

“If that’s the direction we go, I feel good about it,” Roberts said.

Opening Day rosters must be set by 9 a.m. Pacific Time Sunday.

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.