W.A.G. on Opening Day Roster

Only a moron would try and predict what the Opening Day roster will look like this early in the Spring. It’s way too early. There will be injuries – there always are; There will b e surprises – there always are!  That is why W.A.G. Predictions are so inaccurate.  In fact, you likely have to be a moron to even hazard a guess, so here goes:

Starters

  • Grandal -C
  • Gonzalez  – 1B
  • Forsythe  – 2B
  • Seager  – SS
  • Turner  – 3B
  • Toles  – OF
  • Gutierrez – OF
  • Pederson  – OF
  • Puig – OF
  • Ethier – OF

Subs

  • Barnes – C
  • Utley – IF
  • Hernandez  – IF/OF

Starting Pitchers

  1. Kershaw
  2. Hill
  3. Maeda
  4. Wood
  5. McCarthy

Bullpen

  • Dayton
  • Baez
  • Fields
  • Liberatore
  • Romo
  • Hatcher
  • Jansen

Let me explain a few things:  If Kazmir is healthy he is easily tradable.  SVS get traded.  Ryu starts on the DL.  Urias is left behind and starts his season in early May.  It’s a numbers game.  In 2015, Kike Hernandez hit .307.  Last year he hit .190.  I don’t believe he is a .300 hitter, but I believe he is better than .190.  Maybe there could be a reason like THIS to explain his troubles.  We might soon know – his mind should be clear this Spring.

There you go – pile on dudes!

Today’s Music

USA. Chicago 1966. Muhammad Ali, boxing world heavy weight champion showing off his right fist. © Thomas Hoepker / Magnum Photos

Posted by Mark Timmons

I started LA Dodger Talk in 2001. I took a year off in 2016 and now I am back. This site is about giving another perspective outside of the average day-to-day reporting. I don't do game recaps or in-depth sabermetric analysis. I value sabermetrics, but leave that to people smarter than me... which is only 98% of the population. This is where you start your day as a Dodger Fan. Welcome!

This article has 24 Comments

  1. A couple things jump out at me.

    1. No right-handed sub for Gonzalez. Maybe Utley is shuttled down, once in awhile, on 10 day DL for a right-handed hitter.

    2. The roster/organization has some work to do. As an organization, we are overflowing with players. I agree with you about Kazmir, trading him and his 2018 salary solves the luxury tax problem. Relatively low cost acquisition for an innings eater.

    1. 1. When Gonzo sits and you want a RH, you move Turner to 1B, and put Kike or Forsythe at 3B or vice-versa. You could also put Grandal at 1B and Barnes at C.
      2. As Ryu and/or McCarthy and Thompson and/or Ethier show they are healthy, there have to be more moves.

  2. That 25 is realistic. Who has options and who is not fully healthy will hurt their chances of making the 25 right out of the box in order to showcase those that would otherwise have to be cut.
    .
    I hope SVS can make the 25 because he has shown when healthy he can pound lefties.

  3. I think that Van Slyke will be on the 25 man roster – he can play 1B and pinch hit or play an OF corner against lefties.

    Toles gets optioned.

    Kazmir is tradeable but won’t be traded this Spring – maybe later in the season? The opening rotation will be Kershaw, Hill, Maeda, Kazmir and either Wood or McCarthy. Whichever one isn’t in the rotation between McCarthy and Wood will go to the ‘pen.

    One of Hatcher, Fields and Liberatore will find themselves off of the 25 man roster. By the way, Hatcher and Avilan are both out of options – Fields and Liberatore both have options remaining so both Hatcher and Avilan are likely to be on the opening roster and Fields and Liberatore won’t be.

    1. Dodger rick

      I don’t know about you, but I am sick of Hatcher staying on the major league team, because he has no options left.

      He has been given to many options, to stay on the major league team.

      And non of them, are based, on his performances.

  4. That bullpen scares the begeebers out of me. That’s all we have? I only “trust” Romo and Jansen. That bullpen will not bridge innings 5-7. I hope it plays out better than that. The starters are ok, if healthy, but it means quite a few decent young will be in AAA or lower. I hope the spring shakes out differently than Mark’s predicted pitching staff. If Urias lights it up, he has to start with the team. Manage the innings if necessary during the season. He still NEEDS major league experience, which he won’t get staying in Glendale.

    1. I don’t think Urias should pitch until the end of April. Just don’t pich him period. Not in the minors, not in the majors. Just delay his start. Then I would pitch him every 5th day until early August, at which time I would sit him to miss two or three starts. If he starts 25-26 game , hopefully he will have about 160 innings at the end of the season and be fresh for the playoffs.

  5. Truth – good to hear from you.
    Like you I wasn’t very confident about last season, but was pleasantly surprised.
    Those play off games in Washington must have been amazing, especially the game Kershaw closed out. People will remember that in decades time, and you were there!
    I’m looking forward to this season more than I have for years because we really do have a great squad of players, and I believe the chemistry will be good, and Doc has a year of experience under his belt.
    If we can steer clear of injuries to key players, then we must go close.
    Will be good to share the ups and downs with you pal.

    1. Watford, likewise, we share similar views, always have. Washington was much fun, the Nats fans were confident it would be a short series.

      Cheers to 2017 W!

  6. I have generally been supportive of almost all of the FA signings/re-signings because I thought that I understood the reason behind the move, and it made sense (to me). Even if the move did not turn out to be positive, the thought process was there. I was very supportive of Utley and Kazmir contracts last year, but not so much Joe Blanton. I was right on one, wrong on one, and too soon to tell on one. I am all in on the re-signing of Jansen/Turner/Hill/Utley, and the addition of Sergio Romo. But I honestly do not see the reason for Gutierrez with a healthy SVS and Thompson. I am not sure that I can be convinced that Franklin will hit lefties better than SVS or Trayce if all three are healthy and ready to play. But as I was wrong about Blanton, I hope that I am wrong about Gutierrez. I can only surmise that FAZ is not convinced that SVS or TT are fully healthy, and FG is a relatively inexpensive insurance policy. But wouldn’t he have signed a minor league deal?
    .
    I might have liked to see O’Koyea Dickson get a shot against lefties. Overall he was .327/.398/.596/.994 in 377 PA. Against LHP .327/.432/.571/1.004 in 118 PA. With 2 outs & RISP .344/.432/.750/1.182 in 74 PA. He grounded into 6 DP all year. He did this at OKC as a 1B/corner OF. He just turned 27 so he is not a prospect, but he has earned a chance. RHB 1B/OF… I think that is what they were looking for.
    .
    If SVS is healthy, I agree with Dodgerrick, he has to make the 25. And that does not bode well for Toles. But with a healthy Ethier, it would be better for Toles’ development to play every day at OKC, where he would probably play CF and lead off; a role they envisioned for Rico Noel in 2016.
    .
    I agree with Dodgerrick that it is unlikely the Dodgers will trade Kaz in ST. If he is pitching well, he makes logical sense to be the #4 until Urias is inserted in the rotation, at which time he becomes the #5. He would be a great #5. If he is not pitching well, nobody is going to want him. He is with the Dodgers for better or worse, and I think the better.
    .
    For bullpen, Jansen and Romo are the only two locks. This ST my eyes are going to be on Brandon Morrow. It is very possible that he could move into that setup role. If he stays healthy, there would be nobody better. He just has to stay healthy. FAZ cannot keep Avilan/Liberatore/and Dayton in LA. Dayton should stay, but he does have options, as does Liberatore. If there are no moves, Avilan is on the 25 and either Liberatore or Dayton goes to OKC. RHRP are Hatcher/Baez/Fields/Ravin. Hatcher will either prove he belongs or he will be DFA’d. Until proven otherwise, I am going to believe he sticks. Baez is more proven than either Fields or Ravin, so he will stay. That would leave Ravin or Fields, but both have options, and I do believe that Brandon Morrow will get that last spot. If FAZ wants 7 in the pen, my picks would be Jansen/Romo/Avilan/Dayton/Hatcher/Baez/Morrow. If they go 8, Alex Wood or Brandon McCarthy (if healthy, McCarthy) take the long man spot starter role. Ryu stays in Glendale. The OKC rotation could be Wood/Stripling/Stewart/DeJong/Oaks, with Sborz knocking on the door.

  7. 1. Hatcher has to be “lights out” this Spring. If he is not, he is gone. I believe he will step up, but if he doesn’t, I am fine with the DFA!
    .
    2. SVS has 328 Career AB’s against LH pitching and has a .262 BA. He has been injured and disappointing the last two years, but in reality, he has had one good year and that was in 2014 when he hit .297. Here are his batting averages the other 4 years:
    .167
    .240
    .239
    .225
    I don’t get all the love for SVS. A lot of people want to throw Kike out after one bad year – SVS has had 4! He can do it, but how can you count on him?
    .
    3. FG has been up and down in his career, but in 1049 AB’s during his career he hits LH pitching to the tune of .289. Against RH pitching he averages a HR every 42 AB’s but against LH pitching he averages a HR ever 21 AB’s! SVS ‘s HR average is a little better but his BA is much lower.
    .
    4. I like Thompson, but who is he? We have to see… He might have to play at OKC a while.
    .I like the idea of a vet like Gutierrez pinch-hitting in a tight game. I also like SVS, but in reality he has had one good year out of five!

  8. Yeah Mark, I’m not sure about SVS either. I watched him play in Fresno last year when he was rehabbing and I really didn’t like his body language. He was barely going thru the motions. It was really disappointing to watch. Last year he just looked awful when playing with the Dodgers. Whether it is due to injury or he just isn’t vested in putting in the work I don’t know. But I’m sure the Dodger Brass are watching him. But neither am I sold on Kike either. I like the Gutierrez pick up and I like the energy Toles brings. Thompson I just haven’t see enough.

    1. I saw SVS play in Sacramento last year, and I would agree that he did not overwhelm anyone. But ML players go down to rehab, so most of us Dodger fans were not all that disappointed. I have seen many ML rehab in AAA and most just do their work and leave. They are not there to impress, so most do not. I have no problem with that, and I form no positive or negative impression on their play. SVS is a proven ML OF/1B, and had nothing to prove at AAA. Whether he is a quality reserve ML OF/1B is what ST is going to show.
      .
      I hope both you and Mark are correct about Gutierrez. I just do not believe that he is that much of an upgrade over a healthy SVS and TT, especially with his medical disorder. Just because I do not see Gutierrez as a big upgrade as a RH Bat does not mean that I have a lot of love for SVS. I would have preferred that Gutierrez sign a minor league contract to see how he played in comparison to SVS and TT. That is what SF is doing with Justin Ruggiano and Michael Morse as backup for Williamson/Parker/Hernandez. If Gutierrez plainly beats out SVS, then go ahead and send SVS down, or trade him to Miami who clearly would like a RH 1B to back up Justin Bour.
      .
      I also have no problem with Kike’ going into ST as the super utility player. He has earned that with his 2015, and I attribute much of his 2016 problems to his father’s illness. He would have to play himself off the roster, and I do not see that happening (at least I hope not).
      .
      I think Toles will be a solid ML OF. However, with Barnes, Hernandez, Utley, and Ethier as backups on the 25 man, that leaves Toles/SVS/Gutierrez for one spot, if LAD goes with 7 members in the bullpen. With Ethier and Utley as LH bats off the bench, I do not see Toles being a bench player. He has the ability to be an everyday player, so send him down to AAA where he will play every day against both RHP and LHP. If anything happens to Ethier or Pederson, Toles is back in LA. The same with TT who would be Puig’s replacement if he gets hurt. That leaves the battle for the #5 bench role between SVS and FG. I am all for letting the competition dictate the winner. But with FG a guaranteed salary twice that of SVS, and with SVS having one option remaining, my bet is Gutierrez gets the call.

      1. 1. I agree on the rehab thing… they are just there to get into MLB shape and so they may look disinterested.

        2. I get the impression that Kershaw may still be a little miffed at what SVS told AVS about what Kershaw allegedly said about Puig. No hard evidence of that… just an impression based upon some info. Probably some of the same stuff you might have heard in times past.

        3. Would FAZ have signed him to a MLB contract for $2.4 million if they didn’t think they had to to get him? I don’t know, but would hope so. I think we will find out if he had other suitors.

  9. Mark, why not put Urias in the bullpen to limit his innings? In September you can stretch him out into a starter for the postseason.

    1. I would be for that if it was for the whole season, but I think he’s too good for that. I think they would like to cap his innings at about 170-180… including the playoffs. So there are only a couple of ways to do it:

      1. Hold him out early in the season and just have him work on conditioning;
      2. DL him two or three times for 10 days; and/or
      3. A combination of both.

  10. I wouldn’t be shocked in the least to see Ryu in the pen. As a matter of fact I feel he’d be a perfect bullpen fit in my wish-build-book because inherited runners would be less threatening with the way his mind is. Don’t know if Ryu could embrace such a role but he’d shine if he’s still got it.

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