Dodgers roster projections 1.0: Who makes the Opening Day roster?

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

Los Angeles Dodgers baseball is just around the corner, with the 2023 season representing a new era for the franchise. Several big names have left the team, and while there have been some replacements, the front office is obviously trusting the young talent on the team.

With so many moving parts in the offseason, the Dodgers roster is a bit harder to predict now than it normally would be at this point of the year. There are quite a few spots up for grabs on the 26-man MLB roster, with Spring Training playing a huge role in the decision-making process.

A lot can change, whether it be due to strong performances from players in Arizona or injuries suffered before the start of the regular season. As it stands right now, here is how the Dodgers roster could likely shake out.

Dodgers roster projections 1.0:

Starting pitchers (5): Julio Urias, Clayton Kershaw, Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin, Noah Syndergaard

Barring any injuries, this is the likely starting rotation that the Dodgers will roll into the 2023 season with. Julio Urias is one of the best arms in the entire sport and is a fitting ace, while Clayton Kershaw is still a lot better than people give him credit for being.

Tony Gonsolin was incredibly solid for the team last season, while Dustin May is looking to pick back up on the momentum he had before suffering an elbow injury in 2021. Noah Syndergaard is a question mark, but so was Tyler Anderson last season, and look how that panned out.

Bullpen (8): Evan Phillips, Yency Almonte, Brusdar Graterol, Alex Vesia, Caleb Ferguson, Victor Gonzalez, Daniel Hudson, Ryan Pepiot

Injuries happen in every sport, and the pitching staff (particularly the bullpen) is the biggest part of the roster that could be shuffled because of injuries. The likes of Daniel Hudson and Victor González are not guaranteed to be ready for the start of 2023, but if they are, they will likely make the roster.

Ryan Pepiot makes the roster as the long-relief option/sixth starter, while guys like Phil Bickford, Justin Bruihl and Shelby Miller miss the cut despite being on the 40-man roster. The Dodgers are elite at turning players' careers around, but it is hard to buy the Miller redemption arc.

Designated Hitter (1): J.D. Martinez

J.D. Martinez should be able to play most of the 162 games in 2023 as the team's designated hitter. When Martinez needs a day off, Max Muncy slots in as the next designated hitter option.

Infielders (8): Will Smith, Freddie Freeman, Max Muncy, Gavin Lux, Miguel Vargas, Miguel Rojas, Austin Barnes, Michael Busch

The starting infield right now appears to be Will Smith, Freddie Freeman, Max Muncy, Gavin Lux and Miguel Vargas. However, Vargas may not play third base as initially expected, with Andrew Friedman saying that he could start at second with Muncy starting at third.

Miguel Rojas provides a quality veteran presence off the bench, with Austin Barnes slotting in as the backup catcher. Michael Busch has also proven everything he needs to prove in the minors and should get a chance to crack the Opening Day roster.

Outfielders (4): Mookie Betts, Chris Taylor, James Outman, Trayce Thompson

There is not much outfield depth to speak of with the Dodgers. The starting outfielders should be Mookie Betts, Chris Taylor and James Outman, who has a better chance of winning out the job with a strong spring than Trayce Thompson.

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The Dodgers don't have a great fifth option to call up, with Andy Pages and Jonny DeLuca being on the 40-man roster. Neither guy is ready quite yet for the big leagues.