Final Dodgers’ 2017 NLDS roster prediction

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

Here’s my last attempt at predicting the Dodgers’ 2017 National League Division Series roster. It’s a roster the Dodgers will take into the series beginning Friday against the Diamondbacks or Rockies.

The prediction here isn’t contingent on which team the Dodgers end up playing. I’d predict the same roster against both teams.

Previous predictions:

Locks

Starting Pitchers: Clayton Kershaw, Yu Darvish, Rich Hill, Hyun-Jin Ryu

Relief Pitchers: Kenley Jansen, Brandon Morrow, Tony CingraniTony Watson, Josh Fields, Alex Wood, Kenta Maeda

Catchers/Infielders: Austin Barnes, Yasmani Grandal, Cody Bellinger, Logan Forsythe, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Chase Utley

Outfielders: Chris Taylor, Yasiel PuigCurtis Granderson, Enrique HernandezAndre Ethier

There have been some changes since the last prediction. Most notably, Ryu is inserted into the starting rotation and Wood goes to the bullpen. Chad wrote about it last week, and it makes a lot of sense. Also, Wood has acknowledged that he wasn’t very good in his last start. Because Wood’s still a really good pitcher, he might end up being an X-Factor type of player for the Dodgers in the postseason.

Also missing is Luis Avilan, who suffered a shoulder injury that will keep him out for the NLDS. That makes Wood in the bullpen look even better. It also ensures Cingrani — fourth on the team in reliever WAR despite throwing just 19 1/3 innings as a Dodger — gets a spot on the roster. That makes 23 locks.

To make things interesting, I’m sticking with the 13 position player/12 pitcher split knowing full-well it could be 14/11.

Final Candidates

Pitchers: Pedro Baez, Walker Buehler, Brock Stewart, Ross Stripling

Position Players: Kyle Farmer, Tim Locastro, Joc Pederson

Gone from here is Brandon McCarthy, who hasn’t shown enough to be considered. Stewart is basically out because he just hasn’t been used enough. Buehler is incredibly intriguing, but his command/control concerns are legitimate. His stuff is the best in the org, but I’m not sure the Dodgers roll the dice on him. If that’s the case, then it comes down to two homer-prone relievers in Baez and Stripling. Based on usage of late and results of late, I think the final pitching spot goes to Baez. I hate the idea of him pitching October, but just be ready for it. Stripling’s home run issue is more pronounced than Baez’s, and the fact he lacks elite velocity — plus Dave Roberts and Jansen’s adoration — gives the nod to Baez.

On the offensive side, Adrian Gonzalez is out because of a balky back. We also have a new entrant in Locastro. He doesn’t do much in the way of hitting (think pre-2017 Chris Taylor, minus the pedigree) and is versatile, but the only reason he’s under consideration is because he’s fast. He is a good base stealer, but I’m not sure that’s enough to give him an edge over Farmer and Pederson. Pederson has almost unmatched power and hit a big homer against Max Scherzer in Game 5 of the 2016 NLDS, but he’s been far too inconsistent in the second half to legitimately warrant a spot. That brings us to Farmer. While he’s there mostly to free up Barnes and/or Grandal for pinch-hit/platoon start duties, the fact Farmer hits right-handed plays in his favor. He’d be the last player used, but he makes more sense on the whole than Locastro or Pederson.

Final Two In: Baez, Farmer

If it ends up being a 14/11 split, I’d drop Baez and add Pederson. I just don’t know if I could pull the trigger on a “burner” for the playoffs.

Lineups

Lineup vs. RHP

Taylor CF
Seager SS
Turner 3B
Bellinger 1B
Granderson LF
Puig RF
Grandal C
Utley/Forsythe 2B

Lineup vs. LHP

Taylor CF
Seager SS
Turner 3B
Bellinger 1B
Hernandez LF
Forsythe 2B
Barnes C
Puig RF

2017 NLDS Postseason Roster Prediction, v 3.0

Pitchers (12)

Player Position
Clayton Kershaw SP 1
Rich Hill SP 2
Yu Darvish SP 3
Hyun-Jin Ryu SP 4
Kenley Jansen RHRP
Brandon Morrow RHRP
Josh Fields RHRP
Pedro Baez RHRP
Tony Cingrani LHRP
Tony Watson LHRP
Kenta Maeda LRP
Alex Wood Fireman

Position Players (13)

Player Position
Austin Barnes C/2B
Yasmani Grandal C
Kyle Farmer C/3B
Cody Bellinger 1B/OF
Logan Forsythe 2B
Justin Turner 3B
Corey Seager SS
Chase Utley IF
Curtis Granderson LF
Chris Taylor CF
Yasiel Puig RF
Andre Ethier OF
Enrique Hernandez OF/IF

First pitch of NLDS Game 1 is scheduled for 83 1/2 hours from now. Let us go.

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., and has yet to be shot.