Well, Cody’s post about the few remaining decisions left for the roster proved timely, as the Dodgers then proceeded to immediately answer some of the questions about Opening Day and proved him correct so far.
The most notable announcement happened this morning, with James Outman being named to the 26-man Opening Day roster.
#Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said James Outman will be on the Opening Day roster. He was informed earlier today.— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) March 23, 2023
A deserved spot given the way he’s played this Spring, and one could make the argument that he should be the platoon guy against righties after his .295/.385/.545/.930 line.
James Outman finds the gap! 👀— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) March 23, 2023
Chris Taylor scores from first. 🏃♂️💨 pic.twitter.com/bNyYebHZPN
As expected, Jason Heyward was also named to the team.
The #Dodgers’ roster on the position player side is set with the news that James Outman is on the team. As expected, Jason Heyward will also be on the OD roster.— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) March 23, 2023
He has struggled of late to a .200/.280/.378/.658 line this Spring, but the Dodgers seem to believe in the process regarding his swing, and most relevantly they seem to believe in him as a teammate.
That effectively sets the Opening Day roster for position players at 13:
Catchers: Will Smith, Austin Barnes
Infielders: Freddie Freeman, Miguel Vargas, Miguel Rojas, Max Muncy
Outfielders: Mookie Betts, David Peralta, James Outman, Trayce Thompson, Jason Heyward
Utility: Chris Taylor
Designated Hitter: J.D. Martinez
The Dodgers also made another couple rounds of cuts, dropping seven players in total. They optioned left-handed pitcher Justin Bruihl and utilityman Yonny Hernandez, while reassigning right-handed pitcher Tyler Cyr, catchers David Freitas and Patrick Mazeika, infielder Devin Mann, and outfielder Ryan Ward to minor-league camp.
That’s two members off the 40-man roster, which leaves 32 players there, and five non-roster invitees, which leaves eight NRIs left, for a total of 40 in big league camp and 14 cuts left. However, as mentioned every time, there are guys who will be put on the IL. That’s five more players down, which leaves us with nine cuts left. And with the position players set, Hunter Feduccia, Steven Duggar, Bradley Zimmer, Drew Avans, and Luke Williams are among the cuts guaranteed to come barring injury, which leaves us with four cuts left.
Those decisions will come from the fifth rotation spot and the pen choices, where there are seven pitchers competing for three spots on the roster.
My bet? Given that Bickford is out of options, a vet, and beloved in the clubhouse, he’s in. And so are both Pepiot and Grove in one role or the other, though Jackson is a contender as well. Also betting on Grove being the new Ross Stripling, regardless of their recent performances.
Thoughts on the final roster spots? Perhaps a surprise is in store with another NRI making the team.