2021 Dodgers Opening Day roster prediction

Jimmy Nelson. Photo: Stacie Wheeler

It took a while, but the Dodgers finally made some roster cuts, which paves the way for an Opening Day roster prediction from yours truly. Let’s break it down.

Optioned

No surprises here. Guys like Jackson and Vesia showed well in spring, but they were always destined for the minors — at least to start the season. And Ruiz figures to see Los Angeles at some point this season because catching is a hard position.

Reassigned

Again, no surprises here. None of these guys were really a threat to crack the OD roster. But most of them will be guys to follow this season.

Here are the non-roster invitees remaining in camp:

The most surprising non-cut, to me, is Robertson. He skyrockted up prospect lists this winter and has a real chance of making it to LA this season. Morrow isn’t near ready and will eventually be reassigned, but he could be a nice midseason addition. The most impressive has been Nelson, who is vying for a spot on in the OD bullpen.

Opening Day Roster Prediction

Rotation (5)
Clayton Kershaw
Walker Buehler
Trevor Bauer
David Price
Julio Urias

Bullpen (8)
Garrett Cleavinger
Tony Gonsolin
Victor Gonzalez
Kenley Jansen
Corey Knebel
Dustin May
Jimmy Nelson
Blake Treinen

Catchers (2)
Austin Barnes
Will Smith

Infielders (6)
Gavin Lux
Max Muncy
Sheldon Neuse
Edwin Rios
Corey Seager
Justin Turner

Outfielders (3)
Cody Bellinger
Mookie Betts
AJ Pollock

Infielder/Outfielder (2)
Zach McKinstry
Chris Taylor

Injured List (2)
Brusdar Graterol
Joe Kelly

Graterol and Kelly sound doubtful for Opening Day, so Nelson is one of the beneficiaries of those injuries. Cleavinger, who has been awfully impressive this spring, wins out over Scott Alexander, who has one option remaining. Dennis Santana made a valiant effort, but since he has options and Nelson would be exposed to the waiver wire, and the Dodgers don’t want to lose him for nothing.

Neuse gets the nod over Beaty mostly because he hits right-handed, but he’s also a shiny new toy and fills a bigger need as a multi-position infielder. McKinstry will attempt to fill the Enrique Hernandez role, while Rios will need his big stick to make up for the loss of Joc Pederson.

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There is just an embarrassment of talent on this roster. You could almost split the team in half and have two very competitive groups. Andrew Friedman and Co. have done a great job and this team will be ready to defend its World Series title.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosted a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He was a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times and True Blue LA. 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.