We are ONE (1) week from Opening Day and Los Angeles Dodgers fans certainly can't wait to put this offseason and Spring Training behind them. It's time to just see the product on the field and be on with it. Enough of hearing what everybody else has to say.
With the Opening Day roster and lineup coming into focus, a bunch of pertinent information was revealed on Wednesday night that could preview the reality on March 30 vs the Arizona Diamondbacks.
In one of the last round of roster cuts, the Dodgers optioned reliever Justin Bruihl and infielder Yonny Hernandez to minor league camp, which ostensibly clears the path for stud outfielder James Outman (and if it doesn't, it's safe to say fans might actually riot).
Per Dodgers insider Fabian Ardaya, the last position player spot on the roster will be a battle between Outman, Luke Williams, Bradley Zimmer and Steven Duggar. Ummm ... yeah. Make the right call, guys.
Dodgers News: Roster cuts, Opening Day starter, race for final rotation spot
In what's another pertinent roster battle, manager Dave Roberts shed some light on the race for the final spot in the starting rotation. Tony Gonsolin's ankle injury will keep him out for the first few weeks of the season, so LA needs somebody to slot in behind Julio Urías, Clayton Kershaw, Dustin May and Noah Syndergaard.
Per Roberts, "it's close" between Ryan Pepiot and Michael Grove, though we think we know who fans prefer between those two. Here are their stats so far this spring:
- Pepiot - 3.29 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 19 strikeouts, 5 walks in five starts (13.2 innings)
- Grove - 4.38 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 14 strikeouts, 1 walk in five starts (12.1 innings)
OK, yeah, a bit closer than we thought.
But who will take the bump on Opening Day? Urías or Kershaw? Urías, at this point, is probably the better pitcher, but Kershaw is the LA staple. Tough call, right? But Walker Buehler took the mantle last year, so there really wasn't a clear-cut answer this time around.
Kershaw might've provided one this week, though, when he said he was "excited" that Urías was in line to get the nod. Urías will get his final spring start this Friday, which puts him on track to be on regular rest for March 30. Now we're just waiting for an announcement.
MLB News: Jose Altuve injury, Juan Soto injury, MLB farm system rankings
- Houston Astros star Jose Altuve suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch during the World Baseball Classic. He underwent thumb surgery this week and it was confirmed he'll miss the first two months of 2023 before any rehab takes place.
- Padres star slugger Juan Soto suffered a mild oblique injury that the team is being "cautious" with. They say he's on track to start Opening Day, but you just never know with those kinds of injuries given how tricky they can be,
- MLB.com released its 2023 farm system rankings. The Dodgers come in at No. 2 behind the Baltimore Orioles. Pretty damn good.