It’s New Year’s Eve. The Dodgers finally did something! And it looks pretty good! As we’ve been saying all along, it’s hard to judge the roster too much until the spring, considering how few trades have been made and how many very good free agents remain on the board. On the other hand, all you can do is look at what’s real, right now. As we say farewell to 2015, let’s look at what the 2016 Opening Day roster might look like right now…
- C: Yasmani Grandal
- 1B: Adrian Gonzalez
- 2B: Chase Utley
- SS: Corey Seager
- 3B: Justin Turner
- LF: Andre Ethier
- CF: Joc Pederson
- RF Yasiel Puig
- Bench: A.J. Ellis (C), Enrique Hernandez (2B/SS/OF), Carl Crawford (LF), Scott Van Slyke (OF/1B), Trayce Thompson (OF)
- Minors/etc.: Austin Barnes (C), Micah Johnson (2B), Elian Herrera (UT), NRIs, probably
Yes, I’m aware Alex Guerrero exists. No, I don’t care. That’s potentially a good everyday lineup, but there’s so many questions. Can Grandal rebound from shoulder surgery? Turner, from knee surgery? Can Utley/Hernandez be a viable second base platoon? When do Gonzalez & Ethier, each nearly 34, notice the effects of age? What is Pederson? What is Puig? Does Crawford ever get moved? How many positions can Hernandez back up? What happens if Seager struggles or gets hurt?
There’s a ton of talent here. It just feels like it’s missing… something, and I’m not sure what that is.
As to the pitchers…
- SP: Clayton Kershaw (L)
- SP: Scott Kazmir (L)
- SP: Brett Anderson (L)
- SP: Alex Wood (L)
- SP: Hyun-jin Ryu? (L)
- RP: Kenley Jansen (R)
- RP: Chris Hatcher (R)
- RP: Yimi Garcia (R)
- RP: Pedro Baez (R)
- RP: J.P. Howell (L)
- RP: Luis Avilan (L)
- Disabled list: Brandon McCarthy (SP), Ryu (probably)
- Minors/etc.: Frankie Montas, Adam Liberatore, Zach Lee, Tyler Olson, Jharel Cotton, Julio Urias, Jose De Leon, Mike Bolsinger, Carlos Frias, Ian Thomas, Joe Wieland, Ross Stripling, Josh Ravin, NRIs
Certainly is depth there, no doubt about that. A lot of those “minors” names would have good cases for jobs elsewhere. Like the offense, it still feels incomplete, though. Hard to think there’s not another move coming. Kenta Maeda sure makes sense. A trade for a righty starter sure makes sense. I’d be surprised if literally no external relievers with strong holds on Major League jobs actually arrived all winter.
Fans aren’t really excited about this, and I get that. Not a lot has changed, other than… well, you know. I guess that’s why we’ve been beating the “let’s wait and see” thing all winter. This is the roster that exists now. It doesn’t seem possible this is the exact roster that takes the field in April.
Anyway: Onward to 2016! Thanks for listening to us talk all year. I hope you’ve enjoyed Dustin Digest.