Andrew Toles is on the Team

It’s probably too early to make roster predictions, but I am going to make one right about now:  ANDREW TOLE HAS MADE THE TEAM… and not only that, he is going to be a big part of this team moving forward.  Alex Verdugo looks ready too, but he will go down to OKC, at least for a while.  It has been said that there will likely be only 12 position players on the roster on opening day, but I do not believe that.  There are 5 off-days in April so the team will likly go with 12 pitchers and 13 position players in April.

Barring trades or injuries, there are the locks:

  1. Grandal
  2. Barnes
  3. Bellinger
  4. Forsythe
  5. Seager
  6. Turner
  7. Kemp
  8. Taylor
  9. Puig
  10. Hernandez
  11. Toles

The last two spot boils down to Farmer, Peter, Thompson and Utley.  Hopefully, Chase will develop a hangnail and have to go on the DL.  I like Trayce Thompson and he deserves to have a shot on a major league team, but it won’t be in LA.  Kyle Farmer can play multiple positions and I like Jake Peter – he may not have Utley’s clubhouse presence, but Chase doesn’t have Jake’s bat.

So, I pick, Peter and Farmer to be the 12th and 13th position players on the team. The opening day lineup looks like this:

  1. Taylor  CF
  2. Seager  SS
  3. Turner  3B
  4. Bellinger  1B
  5. Kemp LF
  6. Puig  RF
  7. Forsythe  2B
  8. Grandal  C
  9. Kershaw P

We have another televised game tonight.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Posted by Mark Timmons

We started LA Dodger Talk in 2001. This site is about giving another perspective outside of the average day-to-day reporting. We don't do game recaps or such things -- lots of sites do that well. I value sabermetrics, but don't think they are the "end-all-be-all.". This is where you should start your day as a Dodger Fan. Welcome! We'd like to hear your voice.

This article has 32 Comments

    1. Mark will be wrong for the first time ever, except for the other time he was wrong.
      Toles is looking great. Joc is looking better as Spring moves forward. Trout now has one hit this Spring. Kemp is not a lock, although Mark’s lineup looks potent.
      Don’t tell Bobbie, but Puig will get traded this year to make room for Verdugo if Verdugo’s bat forces him onto the Dodgers.
      I used to like Kemp and still do but his window as a Dodger got interrupted by injury and now the Dodgers need to move on with their youth. Forsythe will have to be the righty bat that supplants Kemp’s bat.

      1. I actually think if Puig were to be moved, it would be when DJ Peters is ready (we need the right handed bats)

        Overall I agree with you that Verdugo looks ready, and he looks legit. Toles looks ready and looks just like he did before he got hurt (he’s NOT a platoon player). Perhaps it comes to Verdugo in LF, Toles in CF, Kemp fitting in often in LF, and CT3 to 2b. Yes Forsythe looks good so far, but if my choice is Forsythe in the lineup vs Toles or Verdugo, I’ll take the kids. Forsythe Joc and a pitcher should be able to net us something (besides the salary relief).

        1. BUT, we all know how things tend to play out. If JT gets hurt, Forsythe moves to 3b. If Seager’s back and or elbow are issues, CT3 could be the SS. If Puig got hurt, then Verdugo takes over and never gives it up. Something will happen in April/May that’ll get these guys on the field. It always does.

        2. I think that Forsythe is vitally important this year. If Seager or Turner go down he is important. He was hurt most of last year and never got untracked. I like Taylor in CF, but I think in 2019, the outfield could likely be Verdugo in LF, Toles in CF and Puig in RF.

          There is simply no room for Joc. I hope he gets white hot so as to maximize his value. If they send him down again, it won’t help. He needs a new home.

  1. It really is amazing how we have like 5 starting outfielders. Other teams must be cringing with jealousy!!

    1. not to mention bellinger could play there if needed as well. I feel like this is the year bellinger logs zero innings in the outfield.

  2. I feel like toles is the perfect #8 hitter: can draw a walk if the pitcher wants to pitch around him; can put a charge in one if guys are on base; has speed which can be used in front of the top of the order. also, it seems he doesn’t have much ego and would be willing to play there. something like this would be pretty sweet:


  3. May ChrisTaylor bless you all….

    Mark, DAMN, is this blog on fire??? Good stuff.

    So, question, Grandal loses his spot to Barnes last year, Barnes obviously is much better offensively according to last year while Grandal has the defensive stats (even though Dave Roberts compared the two as elite defensively). Barnes started most LHP games last year and eventually took over some RHP catching duties from Grandal, why is Grandal starting over Barnes? Is it strictly the arm and pitch framing to start the season?

    1. I think Barnes’ size creates some durability concerns. Grandal has consistently faded down the stretch though. I expect to see more of a 50/50 split this year. Grandal is still superior at throwing and calling a game in my opinion. I think Barnes is better or as good at everything else. Of course, Barnes getting more reps with each pitcher may improve his game calling.

      1. Hawkeye

        The size thing is just an assumption.

        And since Catchers are not required to block the plate anymore, I don’t think a bigger guy, will necessarily hold up better.

        And Grandal has been injured and hurt, in the second half of the season, quite a few times.

        And I am not a Grandal hater, like some people are.

        1. They take a beating back there, but I agree it is just an assumption partly because he’s never caught a lot of innings in his career in a single season even if you count the minors I believe. I am pro-Barnes nor a Grandal hater. I think Barnes is even a better pitch framer than Grandal and we know he’s quite good.

          1. Hawkeye

            I feel like you do about both these guys.

            Barnes just moves behind balls, much better then Grandal, but Grandal seems to have a stronger, and better arm, to second.

            But Barnes arm was sore, because he was working on it, in the off season.

            And as you know, Barnes had better numbers against righties , then Grandal did.

    2. Grandal is going to be the starter because I have predicted he will hit 40 HR and Dave Roberts owes me money!

      1. Truth,

        It’s amazing how great a blog can be when I am surrounded by two bloggers smarter than me: AC & DC … and since we got rid of the trolls, malcontents, wannabes, neverweres and morons!

        1. Ha! Fair enough, I read everyday but man, so much activity, AC/DC great job, all starts with the Mountain Mover though…I hope Grandal does it, took a little liking to Barnsie though, great problem to have

          1. I like ’em both, but I love me some Kay Bear Ruiz!

            Let’s meet up in DC again.

            I’m ready for some Founding Farmers!

  4. For whom the bell Toles…
    I know, it was pretty bad when I coined it last week, but what the heck!?!…
    Mark I hope you’re right about Andrew!!! An asset to our lineup…
    We have so many youngsters seemingly ready!!! As Roberts, staff and F.O.
    lock themselves in a war room some where in Camelback the cheese will get binding… OKC will be powerhouse on paper this year…

  5. Anyone looking to get into an NCAA basketball pool next week let me know. I’ve been running one the last two years as a fundraiser for youth baseball. It’s $20 per bracket. Half goes to a 13U baseball team. We’ve raised $1000 the last two years from the NCAA pool. The other $1000 went out in prize money. Now back to Dodger Talk.

    1. Hawk,

      Since it is for a good cause, let me know how I can promote this on the site and I’ll do it.

      Count me in. I always pick Duke all the way. They could be in the final game or out in the first round. Have you sen their new recruit, Zion Williamson? He’s the closest thing to LeBron James I have seen:

          1. I have to admit with Iowa being so terrible this year, it has been the least amount of college hoops that I’ve watched ever. I will have to cram in some reading before I make my picks.

  6. I don’t remember who wanted to see Kemp go oppo, but that was hit pretty hard to the right side!

    1. I was repeating what Dustin Nosler said. The oppo HR with the high finish was Kemp at his best.

      1. Hawkeye

        That ball got to the fence very quickly.

        Both Kemp and Puig should go opppo more, with the power they have to the right side.

    1. Well, you obviously will not get an argument out of me about Woods. Woods’ fan base is growing from my one. Four strong innings tonight. Only Rajai Davis touched him. 0 runs, 2 hits, 5 K’s, 0 BB’s against a good offensive team.
      4 of the 5 starting pitchers have looked pretty good to very good. I am still not convinced that Ryu is a long term solution for the #5. Tomorrow Maeda vs. former Dodger prospect Scott Barlow with Kenley getting his 1st ST outing. I am actually hoping Scott does well (but not too well).

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