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.
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.
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.
Lineup vs. RHP
Lineup vs. LHP
2017 NLDS Postseason Roster Prediction, v 3.0
|Clayton Kershaw||SP 1|
|Rich Hill||SP 2|
|Yu Darvish||SP 3|
|Hyun-Jin Ryu||SP 4|
Position Players (13)
First pitch of NLDS Game 1 is scheduled for 83 1/2 hours from now. Let us go.