Looking at the potential 2022 NLDS roster of the Dodgers

Back in early September, Dustin took a look at the potential Dodgers playoff roster, and the timing of the article showed exactly how long everybody was thinking about October. But a lot has also changed since then, so I figured it would be worth taking another look before the October 11 start for the NLDS.

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Position Players – Locks (10)

Position Players – Debatable (3)

This is actually less drama-free than I expected back in September, partially due to Bellinger finishing hot and removing doubt about his place. So there’s maybe three spots now, but really only two if Taylor is healthy, and he does seem to be responding well to treatment for his neck injury. Rough year or not, his versatility and playoff experience is valued by the team, and looking at the other options there’s quite frankly not a more logical choice than going with his track record.

So that leaves it up to Gallo, Vargas, and Hanser Alberto, all of whom have been degrees of unproductive. Gallo is the best player of the three with the biggest bat (.671 OPS/91 wRC+) and plus defense by all metrics. Based on his playing time, he seems to be a borderline lock as well. Then the decision between Hanser (.623/73) and Vargas (.455/26) comes down to defensive versatility against impact bat potential off the bench. As much as I love Hanser, if CT3 is healthy then the need for his utility decreases, and despite Vargas’ struggles I’d much rather see him at the plate in a pinch-hit situation.

Pitchers – Locks (11)

Pitchers – Debatable (2)

The locks piled up here as well, mainly due to Gonsolin, Graterol, Kahnle, and Almonte returning to pitch, as well as Heaney seemingly being groomed for a long relief role that basically carves out his spot.

That suddenly leaves just two places for May, Treinen, Caleb Ferguson, and Craig Kimbrel. If May has recovered from his back ailment, and he seems on pace, then he’ll take a spot. One would presume the same would go for Treinen, and he seems on schedule for now, but there’s some concern as he was showing diminished velocity in his rehab appearances and subsequent return even before his shoulder started barking again.

One issue with this particular alignment is that it basically leaves Vesia as the lone lefty in some scenarios, with Heaney likely to be withheld if possible due to being on long relief/piggyback duties. Thus, Ferguson could still be in play if there are any health doubts, and he would definitely be a viable option. It seems brutal to post a 1.89 ERA and miss out on the playoff roster, but he does have almost six walks per nine in the last month and seems to be laboring through outings. If they need an additional lefty, it could be Graterol being left out as he was the shakiest of the locks down the stretch. Kimbrel seemingly earns the emergency pick if anything goes wrong, though one could argue for anybody from David Price to Andre Jackson to be ahead of him and I wouldn’t disagree.

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Honestly, I was going to wait until their NLDS opponent was determined, but looking into potential team splits that could change the roster selection didn’t register any obvious matchup reason to not have the Dodgers simply take their best roster.

For the most part, it’s really just about executing for the Dodgers, and not getting too cute about their decisions. Granted, we all know by now that’s easier said than done, but hopefully they avoid overthinking this.

About Chad Moriyama

"A highly rational Internet troll." - Los Angeles Times