Difficult roster decisions Dodgers will have to make over next few weeks

Thomas Carannante
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 14: Blake Treinen #49 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws against the Cincinnati Reds in the eighth inning during the opening series at Dodger Stadium on April 14, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 14: Blake Treinen #49 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws against the Cincinnati Reds in the eighth inning during the opening series at Dodger Stadium on April 14, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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This was touched upon shortly after the trade deadline, which explains why the Los Angeles Dodgers didn’t make any overarching blockbuster moves, but maybe there wasn’t a clear enough overview of just how many big roster moves are on the horizon for Andrew Friedman and Co.

Seriously, if the Dodgers had acquired more major league talent beyond Joey Gallo and Chris Martin, we’re not sure what they would even do between now and mid-September. Here’s the list of injured players ready to be activated in the coming weeks:

  • SP Dustin May (rehabbing at Triple-A OKC)
  • RP Blake Treinen (scheduled for rehab assignment on Friday)
  • RP Brusdar Graterol (scheduled for rehab assignment on Friday)
  • SP Clayton Kershaw (out 2-4 weeks with a back injury)
  • RP Yency Almonte (recently placed on IL)
  • OF Kevin Pillar (cleared for baseball activities after shoulder injury)
  • INF Edwin Rios (sent on two-week rehab assignment last week)
  • RP Tommy Kahnle (throwing bullpen sessions, could return in Sept.)
  • RP Danny Duffy (on track to start rehab assignments in late Aug.)
  • SP Walker Buehler (slated for mid-to-late Sept. return)

Guys … that’s TEN major league players the Dodgers might have to make room for on the active roster, depending on the direction they want to go in for the postseason. Looking at who’s with the team right now, it’s worth wondering a) who’s going to get the boot and b) if the Dodgers will even bother changing the chemistry after what’s been built thus far.

For example, are Kahnle, Duffy and Pillar even in the picture after contributing next to nothing, or will they merely exist in case other depth issues pop up?

The Dodgers have a ton of tough roster moves on the horizon

At this point, the Dodgers have to keep Trayce Thompson because of how well he’s performed. And it seems they value what Joey Gallo can bring to the table defensively, as the coaching staff works on tweaking his mechanics at the plate. What other position players can you replace? Hanser Alberto? Sure, but he’s gotten hot and is the team’s clubhouse Energy Guy.

As for the pitching staff, that’s a different story. Fans would agree guys like Phil Bickford, Caleb Ferguson, Andre Jackson, Ryan Pepiot, Reyes Moronta, and potentially David Price may not have a role on this roster down the stretch/in the postseason, which easily clears up six spots for Kershaw, Treinen, May, Graterol, Almonte and Buehler.

Then again, what about Duffy and Kahnle, both of whom the Dodgers invested over $6 million in for the 2022 season? Is that just considered a sunk cost at this point? It has to be, right?

Welp, make that five roster spots! Jackson is gone in favor of Pepiot for Wednesday’s game. Like we said … a lot of tough decisions that will change the entire complexion of the roster.

These are going to come gradually, starting probably next week and into the third week of September. The key will be getting anybody who’s brought back up to speed before the postseason, so if that’s not possible, then maybe the list of those slated to return gets smaller.

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