First attempt at predicting the Dodgers 2020 Opening Day roster

Clayton Kershaw (Photo: Cody Bashore)

We’re 17 days (hopefully) from Opening Day. 11 players have already been optioned or reassigned to minor-league camp, so I figure it’s time for an Opening Day roster prediction.

There has been more uncertainty around this time in years past, but there are quite a few 100 percent locks (barring injury) to break camp with the team.

There are 51 players remaining in Major League camp (23 pitchers, 28 position players). Here are the players who have been optioned or reassigned.

Optioned

Reassigned

No big surprises here. The optioned players should probably get to Los Angeles at some point this season, especially Gonzalez because of his left-handedness. Sborz has never gotten a real shot, but with as much depth as the Dodgers have in front of him, it’s hard to see him getting much of a shot.

As for the reassigned, Gray impressed in his lone start with his stuff and should get some good experience in Triple-A. Kasowski showed a little something in his 5 1/3 scoreless innings. He’s a sleeper for bullpen work this season. Uceta was also impressive in his outings and could be a viable bullpen option sooner rather than later.

And here are the remaining non-roster invitees in camp:

Pitchers

Position Players

This doesn’t include players on the 40-man, such as Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May, Zach McKinstry, Keibert Ruiz, Dennis Santana and so on.

Without further delay, here’s my prediction.

Opening Day Roster Prediction

Rotation (5)
Clayton Kershaw
Walker Buehler
David Price
Alex Wood
Julio Urias

Bullpen (8)
Pedro Baez
Brusdar Graterol
Caleb Ferguson
Kenley Jansen
Joe Kelly
Adam Kolarek
Ross Stripling
Blake Treinen

Catchers (2)
Austin Barnes
Will Smith

Infielders (4)
Gavin Lux
Max Muncy
Corey Seager
Justin Turner

Outfielders (3)
Literally Mookie Betts
Joc Pederson
A.J. Pollock

Infielder/Outfielder (4)
Matt Beaty
Cody Bellinger
Enrique Hernandez
Chris Taylor

Injured List (1)
Jimmy Nelson

Nelson has been dealing with lower back and groin issues this spring and it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see him start the season on the IL. Pederson is also a candidate, seeing as he has yet to appear in a game this month. He’s slated to play on the back fields this week and should be ready in three weeks, but there’s a non-zero chance he starts the season on the IL as well.

The only contention appears to be in the bullpen. I went with Kolarek over someone like Scott Alexander, despite the new 3-batter rule. Kolarek has gotten knocked around a bit, but he is so good against left-handed hitters that I think the Dodgers figure out a way to make it work — at least early on.

Lineups

vs. RHP
Betts RF
Muncy 1B
Turner 3B
Bellinger CF
Seager SS
Pederson LF
Smith C
Lux 2B

vs. LHP
Betts RF
Muncy 1B
Turner 3B
Bellinger CF
Pollock/Taylor LF
Seager SS
Smith C
Lux/Hernandez 2B

The lineups may not be 100 percent ironclad, but there might be a little less platooning early on, as long as guys like Muncy, Seager and Lux produce against southpaws.

——

There are some 40-man (Gonsolin, McKinstry) and non-roster (Santana, Thomas) players having impressive Springs, but it’s hard to see any of them cracking the Opening Day roster if there are no injuries. But that just goes to show how deep the Dodgers are and how well prepared they should be if/when injuries strike.

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.