The Dodgers have some roster decisions to make before tomorrow.
I hope no one needed a heart defibrillator after last night nail biting victory for the Dodgers in game 5 of the NLDS against the Washington Nationals. Now that the Dodgers have been able to exhaust everyone to finally get out of the first round. We now move on to the NLCS which begins Saturday vs. the Chicago Cubs. The Dodgers need to make some slight changes going forward to have some success against the Cubs.
The infield should be set. Adrian Gonzalez, Chase Utley, Corey Seager, and Justin Turner. I think the Dodgers should stay with the three catcher alignment with Yasmani Grandal, Carlos Ruiz, and Austin Barnes. Barnes is very versatile and play lots of different positions.
The only question is to replace Charlie Culberson with Rob Segedin or Enrique Hernandez. Enrique Hernandez has been in Arizona working on his hitting. He obviously struggled this season. He also can play in the outfield to which makes him valuable. I feel they should carry an extra pitcher. So Culberson is left off the roster.
Josh Reddick. Joc Pederson, Howie Kendrick, Andrew Toles, and Andre Ethier are locks. The only I would question but not really is Yasiel Puig who went 0 for 5 in the NLDS. He didn’t play in game 5. The only other option is Rob Segedin who can also play on the infield. Segedin didn’t do so well towards the end of the season with the bat after his blistering start.
Andre Ethier is a veteran who came up with a big hit in game 4. His spot should be secure. I feel you stay with Puig in this scenario despite his horrible numbers in the NLDS. His defense and his throwing arm might come in handy as a defensive replacement late in games.
The starters to me are a no brainer. We all know Clayton Kershaw is spent after his herculean type effort in the NLDS. Kenta Maeda has been less then stellar towards the end of the season. Rich Hill hasn’t been able to go very deep in any of the postseason games. The only other options are Brandon McCarthy, Brett Anderson, and Scott Kazmir.
I don’t feel confident or comfortable with either of those options. The starting rotation is set with Maeda, Kershaw, Hill, and Julio Urias who could be a key factor in this series. The order for the series has yet to be determined. I would think Maeda game 1, Urias game 2, Kershaw game 3, and Hill game 4. The bullpen once again will be a key factor in this series. Some new bullpen arms can help the beleaguered starting rotation.
During the NLDS I observed two relievers who couldn’t live up to the moment. Luis Avilan and Grant Dayton. It seemed like the pressure got to them. So I have two replacements in line. These two replacements I think can make a difference in the bullpen and possible short men for the starting rotation. Alex Wood and Brock Stewart.
Both are young I know and haven’t been used much. Wood and Stewart can also be used as starters in case any of the starters flame out. Wood pitched good in September. Stewart is a wild card I know but I think he is due to contribute again. The extra arm they can use in bullpen is Scott Kazmir. He can come in to face certain right handers in key spots. Of course that is dependent on his health.
This my unofficial roster for the NLCS.
IF: Grandal, Ruiz, Barnes, Gonzalez, Seager, Turner, and Utley (7)
OF: Reddick, Pederson, Kendrick, Toles, Puig, and Ethier (6)
SP: Kershaw, Hill, Maeda, Urias (4)
Bullpen: Blanton, Fields, Jansen, Stripling, Baez, Wood, Kazmir, Stripling, and Stewart (8)
I feel this roster would have an excellent opportunity to beat the Cubs and go on to the World Series. Of course I don’t have any say in the matter. I would like to see what other fans thoughts on this are.