Injuries play small role in Dodgers opening day roster choices

After Saturday night’s loss to the Angels — which marked the end of spring training (good riddance) — the Dodgers announced the final roster inclusions and cuts.

Despite the myriad of injuries, there still weren’t a lot of surprises for this year’s roster. And honestly, it’s really no big deal who does and doesn’t make the roster out of spring training. Sure, it’s a nice accolade, but in the end, it doesn’t mean a lot because the roster will change so much throughout the course of the season.

Catchers/Infielders (8)

Austin Barnes
Charlie Culberson
A.J. Ellis
Adrian Gonzalez
Enrique Hernandez
Corey Seager
Justin Turner
Chase Utley

Outfielders (5)

Carl Crawford
Joc Pederson
Yasiel Puig
Trayce Thompson
Scott Van Slyke

Starting pitchers (5)

Scott Kazmir
Clayton Kershaw
Kenta Maeda
Ross Stripling
Alex Wood

Relief pitchers (7)

Pedro Baez
Joe Blanton
Louis Coleman
Chris Hatcher
J.P. Howell
Yimi Garcia
Kenley Jansen

Disabled list (8)

Brett Anderson
Mike Bolsinger
Andre Ethier
Yasmani Grandal
Alex Guerrero
Howie Kendrick
Brandon McCarthy*
Frankie Montas*
Hyun-Jin Ryu

*- denotes 60-day DL

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The biggest surprise to me is Culberson. The guy can’t hit a lick, but it goes to show what a good glove can do for a player’s prospects. That, and the fact Kendrick is beginning the season on the disabled list and the only backup shortstop would have been a guy who is also the backup center fielder and second baseman. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers will have to place either Anderson or Ethier on the 60-day DL. Ethier will probably be back first, so I’m guessing it’ll be Anderson.

Coleman edged out Avilan, mostly because he’s out of options. But Avilan had a dreadful spring and the fact he has options meant he can go to Oklahoma City and iron out any kinks. The Dodgers are taking a chance relying on Howell as the lone lefty, but it won’t be a season-long thing.

Barnes and Thompson made the team strictly because of injuries, even if Stacie and I thought Barnes had a great argument for being on the roster, even if Grandal were healthy. Dave Roberts addressed that in brief.

This really seems like a no-brainer. We’ll see if it comes to be. Thompson got a nod for the opening day roster, but I’m not expecting him to play a whole lot before Grandal and Kendrick are back.

First pitch is in 32 hours. Huzzah!

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.