Dodgers: Predicting the Dodgers’ 25 Man NLDS Roster
After a wild season, the Dodgers finally managed to win the NL West Division. It was no easy task. In fact, it required the Dodgers to sweep the arch-rival Giants on the road just to have a chance to face the Rockies in a Game 163 tie-breaker.
Considering that they had much of the same core players as last year when they won a Major League best 104 regular season games and came within one game of winning the World Series, it seemed a lot harder than it should have been. But at the end of the day, they managed to pull it out and for purposes of the post-season, that’s all that really matters.
When projecting the 25-man roster for the post-season, it’s usually easy to just pencil in the starting 8 position players, your starting rotation and your closer. After that you’d pick your bench players and your relievers for the bullpen. Simple and done. But that’s not the way the Front Office has constructed this team.
It’s a team made of multiple moving pieces with different players sliding into different roles, both as to position on the field and in the batting order. Perhaps the ultimate irony of the 2018 Dodgers is that despite a bigger struggle to win the division, the post-season roster actually has less questions that the 2017 post-season roster did.
So without any further ado, I present my predictions for the 25-man roster for your 2018 NL West Division Champion Dodgers…
1. Justin Turner (3B) – .312/.406/.518./924 with 14 HRs and 52 RBIs
2. Manny Machado (SS) – .297/.367/.538/.905 with 37 HRs and 107 RBIs
3. Cody Bellinger (1B/CF) – .260/.343/.470/.814 with 25 HRs and 76 RBIs
4. Yasiel Puig (RF) – .267/.327/.494/.820 with 23 HRs and 63 RBIs
5. Yasmani Grandal (C) – .241/.349/.466/.815 with 24 HRs and 68 RBIs
6. Matt Kemp (LF/RF) – .290/.338/.481/.818 with 21 HRs and 85 RBIs
7. Joc Pederson (LF/CF) – .248/.321/.522/.843 with 25 HRs and 56 RBIs
8. Max Muncy (1B/3B) – .263/.391/.582/.973 with 35 HRs and 79 RBIs
9. Kiké Hernandez (IF/OF) – .256/.336/.470/.806 with 21 HRs and 52 RBIs
10. Chris Taylor (LF/CF/SS) – .254/.331/.444/.775 with 17 HRs and 63 RBIs
11. Brian Dozier (2B) – .215/.305/.391/.696 with 21 HRs and 72 RBIs
12. David Freese (1B/3B) – .296/.359/.471/.830 with 11 HRs and 51 RBIs
13. Austin Barnes (C/2B) – .205/.329/.290/.619 with 4 HRs and 14 RBIs
14. Clayton Kershaw (LP) – 161.1 IP; 9-5; 2.73 ERA; 1.04 WHIP; 155 K; 29 BB
15. Walker Buehler (RP) – 137.1 IP; 8-5; 2.62 ERA; .96 WHIP; 151 K; 37 BB
16. Rich Hill (LP) – 132.2 IP; 11-5; 3.66 ERA; 1.12 WHIP; 150 K; 41 BB
17. Hyun-Jin Ryu (LP) – 82.1 IP; 7-3; 1.97 ERA; 1.01 WHIP; 89 K; 15 BB
18. Kenley Jansen (RP) – 71.2 IP; 1-5; 3.01 ERA; .99 WHIP; 82 K; 17 BB 38/42 Saves
19. Kenta Maeda (RP) – 125.1 IP; 8-10; 3.81 ERA; 1.26 WHIP; 153 K; 43 BB
20. Alex Wood (LP) – 151.2 IP; 9-7; 3.68 ERA; 1.21 WHIP; 135 K; 40 BB
21. Ross Stripling (RP) – 122 IP; 8-6; 3.02 ERA; 1.19 WHIP; 136 K; 22 BB
22. Caleb Ferguson (LP) – 49 IP; 7-2; 3.49 ERA; 1.12 WHIP; 59 K; 12 BB
23. Pedro Baez (RP) – 56.1 IP; 4-3; 2.88 ERA; 1.22 WHIP; 62 K; 23 BB
24. Scott Alexander (LP) – 66 IP; 2-1; 3.68 ERA; 1.27 WHIP; 56 K; 27 BB
25. Dylan Floro (RP) – 27.2 IP; 1.63 ERA; 1.05 WHIP: 31 K; 11 BB
As far as position players go, it was pretty easy. I feel bad leaving Chase Utley off the roster in his final shot at a post season before he retires, but it really wasn’t a hard choice. Although Utley was performing quite well as a pinch hitter for a good portion of the year, he’s been ice cold since coming back from the disabled list late in the season, going 0 for 18 in September. Couple that with an 0 for 19 in last year’s post season and he was never really an option.
The only real question is who takes the final spot in the bullpen. I think they probably go with Dylan Floro in the 25th spot. I suppose a case could be made for Josh Fields, Ryan Madson, Zac Rosscup or even switch-pitcher, Pat Venditte. However, truth be told I would have preferred to pencil Julio Urias in that slot, but there just wasn’t enough time to see if he could be effective coming out of the bullpen for multiple appearances over several days.
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Looking over the list, I suppose Pedro Baez is my biggest surprise, but he’s been one of the better relievers down the stretch. Hopefully he doesn’t fall into old habits and fall in love with his fastball to the exclusion of his secondary pitches. But no matter what, I still don’t want to see him brought in to relieve for Kershaw with any runners on base!
The weakest spot on the roster has to be backup catcher, Austin Barnes. After a breakout year in 2017 when Barnes actually took over starting duties from Grandal in the post season, 2018 hasn’t been kind to Barnes. While I’m not necessarily writing him off long term, I sure would have liked a stronger option there.
Anyway, there you have it… Would you have taken anyone different? Perhaps added an extra pitcher and left a position player off? Let me know in the comments.
In the meantime… GO BLUE!!!!!