Javy Guerra is on the bubble for the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster. (Associated Press)
Opening Day seems a long ways away. The calendar says the regular season doesn’t begin for the Dodgers for another 10 days, and the roster shows more than 40 players in the Dodgers’ major-league camp.
Yet because they leave for Sydney, Australia on Sunday, management must decide on a 25-man roster by the end of the week. The next four days will pass quickly.
So here’s our first stab at what the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster will look like. MLB imposed some unique restrictions on the Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks for who can and can’t be on the Sydney roster, and we’ll get to those. As manager Don Mattingly said Tuesday, “we’re just trying to figure out the combination of guys that we need really, to put our roster together for the season, figure out those two games (in Sydney) and starting in San Diego at the same time.”
This roster tries to address both:
Comment: Butera is out of options, so he cannot be one of the three players designated as “inactive” who can then be activated for the Dodgers’ first regular-season game in North America on March 30. Adding him to the Opening Day roster gives the Dodgers more time to decide whether to keep or cut Butera. Ellis and Federowicz were locks from the beginning of camp.
Comment: Turner or Figgins might not be on the March 30 roster, but since the Dodgers can’t list them as “inactive” (since they’re non-roster invitees), they make the Opening Day roster.
Scott Van Slyke
Comment: No real surprises here. Van Slyke has value as a backup first baseman and a fourth outfielder. There might not be room for Baxter on the roster come March 30 (like Turner and Butera), but he makes the trip to Sydney.
Starting pitchers (2)
Comment: The Dodgers only need two starters for the two games if Kershaw and Ryu are healthy. By bringing just the two of them, there’s extra room in the bullpen for some pitchers on the bubble.
Relief Pitchers (8)
Comment: Picking Rosin over Javy Guerra, who’s out of options, might be the toughest call of them all. But Rosin has been preparing as a starter, and the guess here is that he can eat some innings in the Dodgers’ exhibition game against the Australia National Team if needed. Guerra has simply been crowded out of a job, largely because of the final two years of League’s contract. The Dodgers can take advantage of the option in Chris Withrow’s contract to get a longer look at Rosin, who was obtained at the Rule 5 draft and would have to be placed on waivers if he isn’t on the Opening Day roster.
Comment: These three players don’t necessarily go to Sydney, but the Dodgers will need one to start the exhibition game on March 20.
15-day disabled list (2)
Comment: Both will be eligible for the Dodgers’ home opener against the San Francisco Giants, because their DL stint can be backdated to March 19.
60-day disabled list (1)
Again: This is just a guess and very much open for debate. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Some bullet points for a World Day Against Cyber Censorship: