Quiet Camp Leads To Simple Opening Day Roster Projection

For what may have been one of the wildest winters in Dodger history — front office makeovers! Superstar trades! Inexplicable accusations of being cheap! — spring training has been pretty quiet so far. Even the one major injury, Kenley Jansen‘s foot, is only going to keep him out for a few weeks of the season and isn’t really arm-related. Otherwise, we’re enjoying watching Joc Pederson and Corey Seager on a near-daily basis, and it’s been interesting to see how Alex Guerrero looks at third, but… there’s just not a ton happening.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It means that things are working out basically as planned, and I think we’d all rather that than endless turmoil. Aren’t you a lot happier this way than you would be if you were a Phillies fan, or a Rangers fan, right now? So, knowing damn well that a lot can still change in the next few weeks before the season starts, I figured it might be worth it to take another quick crack at the Opening Day 25-man roster.

CA.J. Ellis, Yasmani Grandal

Ellis swears he’s healthy. Grandal has looked good at the plate but may have some receiving questions.

IF — Adrian Gonzalez, Howie Kendrick, Jimmy Rollins, Juan Uribe, Justin Turner

No surprises here. This is an established, veteran group, potentially one of baseball’s best.

OFCarl Crawford, Scott Van Slyke, Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier

Ethier’s continued existence may still be confounding, but it’s unlikely to change soon.

Final spot — I’ve included three backups (catcher, Turner, Van Slyke) above because they’re obvious. The battle for the last spot? Guerrero has to be the leader at this point due to his contract situation — even if Hector Olivera does land with the Dodgers he’ll have missed so much of camp that he’d start in the minors — with Chris Heisey, Darwin Barney, and Enrique Hernandez in the mix. Since all three have options and can easily be recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City if needed, the guess here is that as long as Guerrero shows even the slightest defensive competency (which is far from certain), he’s there to start the year, at least.

SPClayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-jin Ryu, Brandon McCarthy, Brett Anderson

You’ve been paying attention to Yu Darvish and Marcus Stroman and Cliff Lee and Gavin Floyd and Mike Minor, right? Hold your Kershaws tight. Hold them dear.

RPJ.P. Howell, Chris Hatcher, Juan Nicasio, Joel Peralta, Brandon League, Dustin McGowan

I hate the seven-man bullpen, but it’s the established trend. This could be okay, but it’d look a whole lot better with Jansen fronting it. Really holding out hope that Nicasio and Hatcher live up to the expectations we have for them.

Final RP — You tell me. Paco Rodriguez. Pedro Baez. David Aardsma. Mike Adams. Sergio Santos. Erik Bedard. Mike Bolsinger. Daniel Coulombe. Chad Gaudin. David Huff. There’s more pitchers in camp than are even reasonable right now, and I’m not even all that certain that McGowan’s spot shouldn’t have been included here. (He received a major league deal, which is why I listed him above.) Any of the guys with options or opt-outs that aren’t April 1 are at a decided disadvantage. Best guess: One of the veteran NRIs gets this spot, and everyone freaks out about “the kids not getting a chance.”

DLKenley Jansen, Brandon Beachy, Chris Withrow

Come back soon, Kenley!

About Mike Petriello

Mike Petriello
Mike writes about lots of baseball in lots of places, and right now that place is MLB.com.